The HSU welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to this enquiry into the feasibility of, and options for, creating a national long service leave standard and, and the portability of long service leave and other entitlements. We also applaud the Senate Education and Employment References Committee for acknowledging the very real problem of insecure work for so many Australians.

Despite its inclusion as one of the ten minimum entitlements in the National Employment Standards (NES), long service leave (LSL) remains a chimera for too many Australian workers. Our submission focuses on the experience of workers employed in the health and community services sectors and highlights how labour market dynamics particular to these sectors have effectively deprived workers of LSL. We suggest that a portable long service leave (PLSL) scheme is a sensible and equitable way to restore this entitlement and this submission outlines some basic underpinning principles that we believe must govern a successful scheme.

We acknowledge that the terms of reference raise the issue of broader entitlement portability, however this submission does not deal with that aspect of the enquiry. This omission does not reflect a HSU position on the desirability of broader portable leave entitlements, rather it reflects our view that LSL portability would have the greatest positive impact on our members.

In this submission we have included personal stories from HSU members. These workers have had decades of uninterrupted service in the health and community services sectors, yet for various reasons—often beyond their control—have not been eligible for LSL.

Download a full copy of our Submission below.