Government is investigating the introduction of portable long service leave

CSIA is leading the way by collaborating with our foundation members to make a submission to the Queensland Government around the proposed introduction of a portable long service scheme (PLSLS) for the community services industry in Queensland.

CSIA is also calling on community services organisations to make their individual submissions as well, to highlight the impacts for your business.

This week, CSIA invited the Office of Industrial Relations (OIR) – to present to a room of industry leaders to discuss the Government’s paper Investigation of the introduction of a portable long service leave scheme for the social and community services sector in Queensland, Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS).

Opportunities for industry to host conversations with government stakeholders are imperative to ensure the voice of industry is heard in government-led initiatives that will have significant impact on the community services industry.

After a short overview by OIR representatives, industry representatives were able to seek answers to policy and implementation challenges and discuss implications.

During the forum, community services representatives were able to help the OIR staff develop greater understanding of the complexities of the industry, versus those industries (building and construction or cleaning industries) where PLSLS have already been established in Queensland.

Discussions between industry stakeholders again highlighted the inequitable impacts of the application of a blunt policy across the span of industry organisations (large to small), especially as the industry continues to respond to significant reform and necessary business transformation.

Overall CSIA will recommend:

  • further consideration by Government of the specific and disparate implementation challenges facing the sector, before finalising the proposed implementation of a management model
  • distribution of the RIS beyond peak bodies to industry organisations
  • an extension on the submission deadline to enable a more extensive engagement process to be undertaken.

What you need to know

You can download a copy of the RIS here. CSIA recommends that you, and your team, review its scope as you develop your own agency’s submission.

The RIS provides some insight into the Queensland Government’s investigation into PLSLS and how they feel it will benefit the industry.

The three options outlined in the document (as defined on p18) for discussion will build the bases of their recommendation to the government:

Option ONE: The social and community services industry continued without Government intervention (status quo).

Option TWO: Legislate a mandatory PLSL scheme in the Queensland social and community services industry with a new sector specific governing body to administer the scheme.

Option THREE: Similar to option two, legislate a mandatory PLSL scheme for the Queensland social and community services sector with the existing statutory authority QLeave, to administer the scheme.

The RIS says “the preferred option will best achieve the policy objective and provides the greatest net benefits for the community.”

In the briefing with CSIA, the OIR representatives advised that if you disagree with the three options that you should provide a fourth, feasible, option for investigation and consideration.

The government’s project team are seeking your input to help them build a strong understanding the complexities the industry faces versus the building industry and the cleaning industry which already operate with a PLSL scheme. They are calling for feedback and guidance, including:

  • What costs do you see would be involved in implementing the proposed scheme?
  • Should the proposed scheme extend to both for profit and not for profit organisations?
  • If a scheme were to be introduced what would be the most appropriate operating model?
  • Should the scheme be similar to that operating in Queensland’s contract cleaning industry (under the Contract Cleaning (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 2005) and should it be administered by QLeave or an alternative administering authority?

Next steps

CSIA will develop a submission, including taking some further investigations into the issues the scheme hopes to resolve.

As many organisations within the community services industry have not seen or been informed of the paper, CSIA will be seeking a general extension on the deadline. The current proposed deadline for submissions is by 4pm on Monday 8 October 2018.