Portable Long Service Leave implementation questions raised by community services industry stakeholders in January/February 2021

Collated by CSIA and QCOSS

Responses from QLeave at 23 February 2021

Registration process – organisation

What are the registration steps?

What support does QLeave provide in the registration process?

The application for registration form is easy to complete online. If you need help to complete the online form please contact QLeave.

What confirmation of registration can I expect? How soon should I expect this?

You will receive immediate notification on the screen that your application has been submitted.

Do I need to do anything to follow up after registration?

No, QLeave sends a fortnightly email/e-newsletter to all registered employers. This will go to each contact in your organisation who is included on your registration.

At the end of March, all contacts will receive an email to advise that the employer return is ready to complete and due on 14 April 2021. You will also receive instructions on how to complete the return and pay the levy.

Registration process – individual

What happens if an individual registers but the organisation they work for doesn’t include them in their eligibility?

At this stage, our system is set-up to receive employer registrations only. In the first instance, workers will only be registered through the employer return process. QLeave will then contact these workers in May/June (after the returns are submitted and the levies paid).

We will notify the workers that their employer has registered them with the scheme. Workers should contact their employers if they believe they should be registered with QLeave.

Ordinary hours calculation

The calculation of ‘ordinary earnings’ for PLSL is different to the calculation for superannuation.

Why is this the case?

Ordinary wages are defined by the Community Services Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 2020. A list of what is and isn’t included in ordinary wages is available here https://www.qleave.qld.gov.au/community-services/employers/employer-returns/how-to-calculate-ordinary-wages

Claiming LSL payments from QLeave

In what instances will the organisation need to claim payment back from the scheme?

 An organisation will still need to recognise long service leave accrued under a worker’s employment contract. Where a worker reaches a long service leave entitlement with their employer they should claim their leave from that employer. The organisation can then claim reimbursement from QLeave for the leave accrued with QLeave, since 1 January 2021.

What does the organisation remain liable for and when does QLeave reimbursement start?

Only work performed after 1 January 2021, and recorded with QLeave counts towards a worker’s portable long service leave entitlement. Employers will still need to recognise any long service leave accrued with them, and their existing arrangements apply for leave accrued before the scheme started on 1 January 2021.

What does the organisation claim back from QLeave?

An organisation can claim reimbursement where they have paid long service leave to a worker for service accrued and recorded after 1 January 2021.

Does the long service leave payment include superannuation?

No. The ordinary wages reported to QLeave do not include superannuation. The levy is calculated on the ordinary wages reported. The claim payment does not include superannuation.

Non-compliance

What are the consequences of “making a mistake”?

If an employer ‘makes a mistake’ when submitting their employer return, they will be required to supply the correct data to QLeave. The service recorded for the worker will be amended and an adjustment will be made to the levy amount.

What happens if a worker is not signed up at the right time – does it affect their entitlement?

If QLeave becomes aware that an eligible worker has not been registered with the scheme, we will work with the employer to provide an accurate employer return and levy payment for the missing service. The worker registration date can ‘go back’ a maximum of two years. However this date cannot be earlier than 1 January 2021.

For example, if an employer submits a return in July 2024 and advises that a worker should have previously been registered with the scheme, QLeave cannot register the worker with a date that is before 1 July 2022.

What happens if an eligible organisation doesn’t join the scheme?

If QLeave becomes aware that a liable employer has not registered with the scheme, our compliance officers will investigate the matter and take the necessary action to ensure industry compliance..

More information for accountant and payroll

Will there be information and training from an accounting point of view?

How do organisations deal with provisions accrued in the past and how to accrue the levy payment moving forward?

How do organisations make sure they are applying the process according to the accounting standard?

Will QLeave provide advice on payroll setup – such as how to continue to manage a person’s leave accruals while on LSL if they have submitted for unpaid leave from the organisation because they are getting an LSL payment from QLeave?

Responses to these questions will be provided at a later date.

More information for auditors

Is there information and training to support the audit process?

 A response to this question will be provided at a later date.

Worker eligibility

A small poll of organisations showed while service delivery staff were always included, there was variability around inclusion of management, executive and corporate services in the scheme.

Will QLeave provide any further guidance on interpretation of the legislation for this group of employees?

QLeave has eligibility guides available at www.qleave.qld.gov.au. QLeave does not decide if a worker supports, supervises, or manages the provision of community services. This is the decision of the employer. Employers are encouraged to keep records of their decisions concerning their workers’ eligibility. Employers are welcome to contact QLeave to review their decisions if further support is required.

Implementation costs

The shift from carrying a liability to paying cash each quarter is a significant one, and may have financial implications for organisations.

What, if any, interest does QLeave have in this issue? Will QLeave collect compliance data that will show the number of organisations who do not or cannot comply because of financial issues?

QLeave is the statutory authority responsible for administering the Community Services Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 2020.