21st November 2019
21st November 2019

Understanding the black coal long service leave benefit

You may have seen Coal LSL’s service in question through the media recently so we wanted to take this opportunity to provide an update and assurance to our clients that the Corporation is working within its remit, exercising its defined powers to deliver on its purpose.

A Senate Education and Employment Committee hearing on 23 October about casual employees in the black coal mining industry attracted some media coverage.

During the hearing, questions were asked about Coal LSL’s processes in validating leave entitlements. This provided us a valuable opportunity to clarify our role and obligations within the Senate’s line of questioning. We thought we’d take a moment to share this information about our operations with you.

Key points to understand:

  • Our functions and powers to administer and regulate the fund are contained in our guiding legislative instruments.
  • We have the power to determine whether a person is an ‘eligible employee’ under the scheme. When we make this assessment, we examine the duties that an employee is employed to carry out. Coal LSL has no visibility of the terms of an employee’s industrial agreement.
  • Under our scheme, a casual eligible employee accrues at a rate which reflects the number of hours worked each week. The maximum accrual is the equivalent of a full-time employee.
  • We rely on the information provided by employers in the monthly Levy Advice form to maintain employee service histories, which is why accuracy in reporting is critical. As part of an employee service review enquiry, we can request additional evidence if employee pay slips do not match information provided by their employer in a Levy Advice form.
  • We do not have the power to adjudicate in disputes between employees and employers; these matters lay with the Fair Work Commission, as stated in the Administration Act (refer Part 5A, Division 4—Remedies relating to long service leave/Subdivision A—The Fair Work Commission/39D 'FWC may deal with disputes relating to long service leave').

We trust this clarifies any outstanding questions as we continue to fulfil our role for eligible employees of the black coal mining industry.

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Our periodic updates provide useful information for employers administering the long service leave legislation for their eligible employees.