This month marks the 70th anniversary of Australia’s first portable long service leave benefit, administered by Coal LSL. To date, it is also the only nationally regulated portable long service leave scheme in Australia.
The entitlement was introduced for Australian black coal employees on 14 October 1949 to retain skilled labour in an industry that encountered challenging working conditions and extensive worker movement between employers. Portable long service leave for Australia’s black coal mining industry was later preserved in Commonwealth legislation and has since inspired the establishment of portable long service leave in other Australian industries (1).
For 70 years this provision has supported skills retention in one of the most difficult but significant industries contributing to Australia’s economy. The metallurgical and thermal coal sectors in which Coal LSL’s clients work are Australia’s third and fourth largest export commodities respectively (2,3). They are projected to contribute a combined $55 billion to the national economy in 2020–21 (3).
Retaining the skilled coal mining workforce has also assisted Australia in earning the reputation of being a world leader in mining innovation and mining services (4).
Chair Brad Neven said, ‘We are proud of our role as an exemplary nationally portable long service leave scheme which supports Australia’s black coal mining industry in its significant contribution to the national economy and infrastructure.’
Coal LSL connects employers and employees with their long service leave and manages $1.83 billion in funds for 118,950 eligible employees and 780 registered employers (5).
Our periodic updates provide useful information for employers administering the long service leave legislation for their eligible employees.