Jane Laverty
Jane Laverty

One ‘simple’ change could help save jobs

WITH one amendment, the State Government can help keep people employed says Business NSW.

The state’s peak business organisation has written to the state treasurer, Dominic Perrottet seeking urgent changes to legislation governing long service leave during the coronavirus pandemic.

Currently a worker starts accruing long service leave after five years of services but can’t access it until they hit 10 years of continuous employment.

Business NSW Northern Rivers Regional Manager Jane Laverty said their proposed changes would enable staff to access their long service leave early.

The changes would only last the duration of the pandemic in an effort keep people employed.

“We told him (the treasurer) that many of our members are keen to access accrued long service leave provisions by asking staff to take that leave rather than having to stand them down or make them redundant,” Mrs Laverty said.

“It is important to note the amendment Business NSW is seeking from the Government is intended to be temporary, and this amendment would cease to operate at the end of the global pandemic.”

Ms Laverty said based on advice from leading workplace relations law firm Australian Business Lawyers and Advisers, it was clear a “simple amendment” to Section 4 of the Act would achieve the desired outcome.

“We know these are extraordinary times and the Government is under enormous pressure to keep finding magical solutions,” Mrs Laverty said.

“The Treasurer and Premier have been strong in their delivery of support packages for businesses so far, but this is one initiative that won’t actually cost the taxpayer anything but could save thousands of jobs.”

The changes could also encourage more flexible arrangements and Ms Laverty suggested some could keep people on three days a week while the rest of the week was taken as part of their long service leave.

“This proposed legislative change is aimed at giving businesses additional options to draw down on their existing provisions, maintain some cash flow, and keep employees in ongoing employment during these unique circumstances,” she said.

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