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Long Service Leave in South Australia

The South Australian Government’s policy which grants long service leave to workers who have been with the same employer for ten years or more, has been widely praised. The scheme was introduced on April 1, 2019, by the South Australian Government and came into force on April 1, 2020.

Further changes, including the introduction of a more flexible approach to long service leave, will see long service leave becoming eight-monthly from 2026. This is good news for employees, as they will be able to take leave at key moments in their lives, such as the birth of a child or the birth of a new grandchild.

South Australia has one of the highest proportions of long service leave entitlements in Australia, with 120 days for each year served for all employees. At the same time, this rate has meant that most employees can apply for long service leave after only 10 years of service. Employers in South Australia receive a rebate of 75% of the total long service leave entitlement paid up to a maximum of $1500 per annum.

The Government’s scheme increases real wages for low-paid workers, with 45% of workers receiving an average 19% higher real wage. Employers pay 1.6% more in wages, which is passed on to customers, increasing purchasing power. Social policy is a balancing act between maximizing individual liberty and maximizing the good of society as a whole. Increasing real wages while lowering unemployment helps increase real incomes and living standards.

The benefit of Long Service Leave to the Australian

The Long Service Leave Act ensures that Australian workers receive reasonable pay and benefits when they leave the workplace. It protects workers from losing their job because they have to take a reasonable break from their job.

In addition, long service leave in South Australia is also designed to allow employees to focus on themselves, their families, and loved ones. Research shows that this benefit helps employees feel happier and healthier, as well as more productive. It’s a win-win all around.

There is strong evidence showing that the provision of long service leave increases job satisfaction and employee retention. Long service leave increases employees’ pay by 11.9% and increases their working hours by 2% and 2.5%, respectively. Their job performance increases by 3.1% and 2.5%. Overall, long service leave has a positive effect on employees’ job performance.