Review of the Long Service Benefits Portability Interim Regulations
Victoria’s new portable long service benefits scheme has been operating effectively since July 2019.
The Long Service Benefits Portability Act is supported by Interim Regulations.
The Victorian Government is reviewing the Interim Regulations to ensure that they give enough clarity to employers and workers about the coverage and operational aspects of the portable long service benefits scheme.
New, permanent Regulations will need to be in place no later than 6 November 2020.
As part of the review, a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) will be prepared. The RIS will assess the impact of the proposed Regulations, including economic, environmental and social impacts. The review will be conducted by Industrial Relations Victoria, assisted by KPMG.
The Victorian Government will publish draft Regulations and the RIS for public consultation. The draft Regulations will outline the Government’s preliminary position, and seek stakeholder and community views on that position.
The draft Regulations, and the RIS, will be published by the end of April 2020. The public will have at least 28 days from the date of publication to make comments and submissions on the draft Regulations and RIS.
As the Regulations support the operation of the portable long service benefits scheme, they are expected to provide certainty to employers and workers about who is covered by the scheme. Feedback from users of the scheme indicates that there is some uncertainty about coverage.
The draft Regulations, when published, will be different from the Interim Regulations. The most significant changes to be included in the draft Regulations are:
- abolishing the 'employee predominance test' for the community services sector and replacing it with a test based on award coverage
- treating community health centres and women’s health services in the same way as other service providers. This will mean that they will be covered if they provide a service that is a community service, and if they employ persons under the relevant awards. Employers for those services will only have to pay the levy for their eligible workers performing community service work.
The final Regulations will only be made after the consultation process has concluded, and all submissions have been considered by the Government.
Please note that the Interim Regulations will remain in place until the permanent Regulations are made. If you have not registered for the scheme you must do so immediately.
Penalties apply for failing to register as an employer, failing to register your employees, failing to provide a quarterly return, and failing to pay the levy. If you are unsure whether the scheme applies to you, or your employees, contact the Portable Long Service Authority on 1800 517 158 or visit their website.
If you are an eligible employer in the community services sector, security sector, or contract cleaning sector and have not registered for the scheme, and you should have, you may be required to pay the levy retrospectively.
NDIS and early childhood sectors
While the Regulations operate on and from 1 July 2019, the Regulations to bring certain children’s services and NDIS disability services within the scope of the scheme came into operation on 1 January 2020.
These businesses have until 31 March 2020 to apply for registration in the scheme.
What are the Long Service Benefits Portability Regulations?
The Long Service Benefits Portability Regulations 2019 were approved by the Governor in Council on 25 June 2019. The Regulations support the Long Service Benefits Portability Act 2018 and should be read in conjunction with that Act. Both the Act and Regulations became operational on 1 July 2019.
The Regulations and the Act can be found in our document library below.
While the Regulations operate on and from 1 July 2019, the Regulations to bring certain children’s services and NDIS disability services within the scope of the scheme came into operation on 1 January 2020. This gave businesses in those sectors more time to prepare for the legislation.
Those businesses have until 31 March 2020 to apply for registration in the scheme.
Before the Long Service Benefits Portability Regulations came into force on 1 July 2019, the Victorian Government carried out an extensive consultation process.
Exposure Draft Regulations were published on 3 May 2019.
The exposure draft Regulations focussed on two key issues:
- the coverage of the scheme with respect to the community services sector
- addressing the potential for ‘double-dipping’ in that sector
In addition, there were some minor matters addressed relating to the provision of information by employers, and the sharing of information by the Authority with other bodies.
The exposure draft Regulations were accompanied by a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) prepared by KPMG. The RIS examined economic and social impacts, costs and benefits of the proposed regulations.
Interested stakeholders were invited to provide detailed feedback on any and all aspects of the exposure draft Regulations. Submissions received can be viewed below.
A response to the submissions received as part of the consultation can be found in the document library.
The Interim Regulations
In November 2019, the Regulations needed to be revoked and re-made to address an administrative error.
The re-made Regulations are in the same form as the previous Regulations and are called the Long Service Benefits Portability Interim Regulations 2019. They commenced operation on 20 November 2019.
They will operate until the Permanent Regulations replace them. Otherwise they expire on 6 November 2020.
Previous consultation documents
Submissions on 2019 Draft Regulations
Submissions on Interim Regulations
The Department of Premier and Cabinet would like to thank everyone who made submissions on the original regulations and Interim Regulations. Their comments were carefully considered.
The submissions above were reviewed before publication and in some cases were partially redacted to:
- remove personally identifying details
- comply with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic)
- remove potentially defamatory material.
It is possible that not all comments received were published. Some submitters might have requested that their submission, or parts of their submission, be treated as confidential.