Two months of free hols for 45,000 Qld workers

BUSINESSES will be slugged a levy to fund new long-service leave entitlements for 45,000 community service workers who will qualify for two-months' holiday, even if they change jobs.

The Palaszczuk Government is poised to set up the scheme that will allow respite, disability, drug and alcohol, homelessness, domestic violence, child safety, mental health and other community service workers to take 8.6 weeks leave after 10 years and a further 4.3 weeks after another 5 years.


Set to begin on July 1 - just months before the October election - the move follows a fierce campaign from unions, who argue the low pay, casualisation and work insecurity in the industry means workers can't stay in the same jobs long term even if they want to.

About 45,000 community service workers are about to get access to long-service leave.
About 45,000 community service workers are about to get access to long-service leave.

But it's angered some businesses that will need to cough up for the entitlement, and give workers substantial leave even if they've only been with them a short time.

Costing $1 million in the first year to set up, and $800,000 each year after that, the QLeave entitlements will be funded by a levy on a worker's ordinary wage calculated at about 1.35 per cent.

It will mirror similar schemes enjoyed by construction workers and cleaners in Queensland and similar schemes for community service workers interstate.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the only reason community service workers were missing out now was because of the structure of the industry, not because of a lack of dedication.

"These are workers who are on the front line day in and day out, supporting and advocating for some of our most vulnerable fellow Queenslanders - providing alcohol and drug services, child safety and support services, family and domestic violence services, disability support, mental health and homelessness support, to name a few," she said.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace

"If anyone deserves long service leave, it is these workers."

But some employers did raise objections with the bipartisan parliamentary committee that has recommended the laws be passed.

A non-for-profit that provides education services to far north Queensland youths, called Vocational Partnerships Group, asked: "Why would a community agency hire a candidate who may exercise their right to an extended period of absence within weeks/months into their employment?"

Another employer - a non-for-profit youth services agency in western Queensland called Downs Industry School Co-Operation - said it was reliant on government tenders for funding and further labour costs "will impact on our very viability".

However, it is supported by peak business group CCIQ, which called it "reasonable" given the transient nature of the sector.

The scheme will not be retrospective, but will give current workers access to the entitlement after seven years, rather than 10.



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community services

Accommodation support services

Advocacy services

Alcohol and other drug services

Child safety and support services

Community development services

Community education services

Community legal services

Counselling services

Disability emergency response services

Disability support services

Employment services

Family and domestic violence services

Family day care services

Financial counselling services

Foster care and out-of-home care services

Home and community care services

Homelessness support services

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex services

Mental health services

Migrant and multicultural support services

Offenders transitioning services

Respite services

Seniors community support services

Social housing services

Violence prevention services

Women's services

Youth justice services

Youth support services

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