Workers from selected industries, including contract cleaning, can access the Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme. ​

VICTORIA’S Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme has reached a milestone as it marks three years of supporting workers in the community services, contract cleaning and security sectors.

The scheme allows workers in selected industries, who are more likely to move between employers than in many other jobs, to claim long service leave after seven years of working in their industry regardless of how many employers they have had.

Before the State Government created the scheme, many workers weren’t eligible for long service benefits because they switched from one short-term contract to another.

Since July 2019, more than 227,000 workers have been registered and will be eligible to claim a portable long service benefit.

About 150,000 Victorians who are covered by portable long service leave provide community services such as family violence prevention, disability support, accommodation support, home care, and providing support for cultural and linguistically diverse communities.

About 53,000 members are contract cleaners and 24,000 work in security.

Two in three scheme members are women, who have long been over-represented in low-paid, insecure jobs.

More than 2800 employers have registered with the Portable Long Service Authority, paying a levy of 1.65-1.8 per cent of a worker’s wage to fund benefits.

Industrial Relations Minister Tim Pallas said workers could be missing out on potential benefits because their employer was either unaware of the legal obligations to register their business and workers with the scheme, or is deliberately avoiding their obligations.

“Portable long service provides fairness to thousands of Victorian workers who do a great job in the community day in and day out,” he said.

“Many employers have done the right thing and registered with the authority and we encourage all businesses to seek out information about their obligations to their workers.”

PLSA chief executive Joseph Yeung said the authority was pleased with the high level of registration by employers and workers to the scheme, but there was a long way to go.

“Advertising and social media campaigns are being developed to educate employers about their legal obligations to be registered with the authority,” he said.

The authority will carry out awareness campaigns in coming months to boost employer membership and bring more workers into the scheme.

Employers and workers can get more information on portable long service leave by calling 1800 517 158, emailing enquiries@plsa.vic.gov.au or visiting www.vic.gov.au/portable-long-service.

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