Accruing long service leave

You are entitled to 13 calendar weeks’ leave following 10 years of continuous service.

A further 1.3 weeks (9.1 calendar days) leave is granted for each completed year of service thereafter.

A pro-rata payment is payable if you leave your employment after 7 years continuous service (but less than 10 years). Pro-rata is 1.3 weeks (9.1 calendar days) per completed year of service.

See Accruing leave for further details.

Yes. If you fulfil the requirement of 10 years of continuous service (or 7 years for pro-rata) you have an entitlement.

Casual workers can obtain their entitlement through a series of contracts; it does not have to be a single contract of employment.

See Accruing leave for further details.

Yes. All sick leave (whether paid or unpaid) counts as service towards your long service leave accrual. This applies to all workers, full-time; part-time; or casual.

See Accruing leave for further details.

Yes. If you usually reside in SA and your employment is primarily based in SA or with a SA company, your time interstate counts as service.

See Accruing leave for further details.

The South Australian Long Service Leave Act does not cover a situation where a government directive forces the closure of a business. SafeWork SA is seeking further clarification on how workers are impacted by a government directed closure.

See Accruing leave for further details.

Your employer cannot ask you to resign. If the new owner is taking over the business and continues your employment, your long service leave entitlements will continue to accrue.

If your current employer terminates your employment and the new owner re-hires you within 2 months, your long service leave entitlements will continue to accrue and your service will include the time that you were not working.

It is an offence to ask a worker to resign or terminate employment in order to avoid paying or accruing entitlements.

See Transfer of business for further details.

Calculating long service leave

You can complete the Long Service Leave Claim Form and our inspectors will investigate your claim. There is no charge for this service.

No, however your entitlement will depend on how long you have worked full-time.

If, for the last 3 years preceding taking leave, you were employed on a full-time basis you will be paid as a full-time employee based on your current ordinary weekly rate of pay.

If you worked a mix of full-time and part-time hours in the 3 years preceding taking leave, you will be paid your long service leave based on the average number of hours that you worked in the 3 years immediately preceding the date that you take leave. You will be paid at your current ordinary hourly rate of pay.

See Calculating long service leave - Mix of full-time and part-time worker calculation for further details.

Taking long service leave

Yes. Where a weekend or public holiday falls during your period of long service leave, these count as a day of long service leave.

See Requesting and taking leave for further details.

While the Long Service Leave Act intends for a worker to take their full entitlement in one continuous period, there are provisions for taking it over a number of smaller periods.

However, both you and your employer must agree to this arrangement.

See Requesting and taking leave for further details.

No. Not unless your employer allows you to. Your employer is under no obligation to grant either pro-rata leave or a pro-rata payment. You are only entitled to long service leave once you have completed 10 years’ service.

Similarly, your employer cannot force you to take long service leave (or a payment in lieu) before you have completed 10 years’ service.

See Pro-rata entitlement for further details.

Yes, if your employer allows it. However, your employer is under no obligation to allow you to take leave at half pay.

No. Your employer cannot refuse your request for you to take your entitlement. However, they can suggest alternative dates if your requested dates would have adverse effects on the business.

You should consider the business needs when requesting leave, so asking for leave during the busiest period of the year may not be received favourably by your employer. Your employer also may ask that you give notice so that they can find a suitable replacement whilst you are away.

Your employer may negotiate with you when you take long service leave if they can show that business needs require you to be at work.

If your employer continuously refuses you leave, complete the long service leave claim form and our inspectors will look into the matter. If you are eligible, our inspectors can compel your employer to grant you your entitlements.

See Requesting and taking leave for further details.

Yes, provided your employer has given you 60 days’ notice.

If the dates your employer has given you are not suitable, for example you wanted to take your leave in 6 months’ time to travel overseas, then you can try to negotiate this with your employer.

See Requesting and taking leave for further details.

No. You cannot work on any day (or part day) where you would ordinarily be at work.

Full-time workers: It is generally considered that full-time workers cannot work an additional job whilst on long service leave. It is possible, however, for you to work on days that would ordinarily be your weekend. You should check with your employer if there are any restrictions on you working a second job as some employers require you to declare this information.

Part-time workers: You can work on any day/hours that you do not usually work. For example, if you work 3 days per week Monday, Wednesday & Friday, you cannot work on these days.

Casual workers: Casuals do not work set hours or set days per week. Casuals who are on long service leave will be paid for an average number of hours per week. Therefore, you would not be able to work for this number of hours. For example, if you were being paid 25 hours long service leave per week, it would be unreasonable for you to work a 38 hour week at another job. However, it may be reasonable for you to work 10 hours per week with another employer.

See Requesting and taking leave for further details.

Payment of long service leave

Full-time workers will receive their current base weekly wage. See Full-time worker calculation for further details.

Part-time workers will receive their current base hourly rate of pay. See Part-time worker calculation for further details.

Casual workers will receive their current hourly rate of pay. This includes the casual loading, if applicable. It excludes overtime, shift premiums and penalty rates. See Casual worker calculation for further details.

Commission, target and per piece workers receive payment based on the average income generated over the previous 12 months. See Commission, target and per piece workers calculation for further details.

If you are being paid at a higher level (such as acting in another position) when you take your long service leave, your employer must you at your acting salary.

Yes, if you negotiate this with your employer and they agree. The agreement should be in writing and signed by both parties.

Any questions relating to tax on long service leave entitlements should be directed to the Australian Taxation Office.

See Payment of entitlement for further details.

No. You are entitled to take long service leave as a period of leave. Any other arrangement must be agreed to by both parties.

If your employer is insisting that you give up your right to take long service leave as a period of leave, you can lodge a complaint with us.

See Payment of entitlement for further details.

Yes. Your employer may choose to pay you your entitlement as a lump sum.

The Long Service Leave Act allows for payment:

  • as a lump sum in advance of the whole period of leave
  • on the worker's usual pay day, or
  • in another way with agreement by both employer and worker.

If you are taking your entitlement as leave and you want to receive your payments on your usual pay day, you should discuss this with your employer.

Any questions relating to tax on long service leave lump sum payments should be directed to the Australian Taxation Office.

See Payment of entitlement for further details.

You can complete the Long Service Leave Claim Form and our inspectors will investigate your claim. There is no charge for this service.

If your employer has refused to grant you, or pay you, your long service leave entitlement due to a disciplinary action, you will need to contact the Fair Work Ombudsman.

If you have a pro-rata or full long service leave entitlement, your employer must pay all owing monies immediately. 'Immediately' can include on what would have been your next pay day.

Your employer may not withhold payment of your entitlement. If your employer has financial difficulties, they may ask that you enter into a payment plan agreement. There is not obligation for you to accept this agreement.

See Payment of entitlement for further details.

Your long service leave must be paid at your rate of pay that is current at the week the leave is being taken. If your rate of pay changes during your leave, you must be paid the new pay rate.

A lump sum payment can also be adjusted if your pay rate changes during the time you would have been on leave, had you taken your entitlement as leave rather than as a lump sum.

See Payment of entitlement for further details.


Questions about your long service leave?

If you have read all of the long service leave information on our website and you still have questions or concerns about your entitlements, please complete our long service leave form and we will get back to you.

Page last updated: 22 April 2022