As a worker, you should initially attempt to resolve any long service leave dispute directly with your employer.
If this fails and you believe that your employer has not paid you your full entitlement or is not permitting you to take your entitlement, you can lodge a claim with us. One of our inspectors will investigate your claim and help resolve the matter. In some instances, we may need to refer the matter to the South Australian Employment Tribunal.
Role of SafeWork SA in resolving disputes
SafeWork SA's jurisdiction only extends to workers and employers covered under the Long Service Leave Act 1987 (SA). If your long service leave provisions are covered under any other Act, Award or Agreement you need to contact the Fair Work Ombudsman.
SafeWork SA can only answer questions or help resolve a claim in relation to long service leave entitlements. If there are any other matters within a dispute between employer and workers, such as leave entitlements or the validity of a resignation, you must first resolve this through the Fair Work Ombudsman or the Fair Work Commission. The outcome of these other matters may impact your long service leave entitlements.
If you are a worker or employer covered under the Long Service Leave Act 1987 (SA) and you seek our assistance to resolve a claim, please submit submit a long service leave claim form. A SafeWork SA inspector will be assigned to the case. Our inspectors have regulatory powers that will enable them to assist in resolving a claim.
If your claim is found to be invalid or there is not enough evidence for us to pursue the matter further, you will be notified accordingly. This does not prevent you from taking action in the South Australian Employment Tribunal.
Powers of inspection
A SafeWork SA inspector has the power to require an employer to produce any records relating to the long service leave entitlements for a worker. The inspector may attend the workplace of the worker (or former worker) to retrieve copies of these documents or ask questions of the employer.
The employer must not hinder or obstruct the inspector when they are exercising their powers of inspection nor are they to refuse or fail, without lawful excuse, to comply with the inspector’s request for documents or to answer questions asked by the Inspector in relation to a worker’s long service leave entitlements.
Directions to employer
If following their investigation, a SafeWork SA inspector may issue a written notice to the employer if the inspector determines that an employer has improperly:
- refused to grant a worker their long service leave entitlement, or
- refused to make a payment in lieu of long service leave for which the worker is entitled.
The written notice will direct the employer to:
- grant the long service leave entitlement to the worker, or
- make a payment to the worker in lieu of long service leave within a specified period (not being less than 14 days).
An employer who receives such a notice is entitled to apply to the South Australian Employment Tribunal for a review of the notice within 14 days of receipt of the notice.
The employer will be guilty of an offence if they fail to comply with:
- the notice (and does not apply to the South Australian Employment Tribunal), or
- a South Australian Employment Tribunal order.
The maximum penalty for non-compliance with an inspector's written notice is $5,000.
Time limit for making a claim
If there is a dispute with regard to your entitlement, you have 3 years to lodge a claim with the South Australian Employment Tribunal.
Questions about your long service leave?
If you have read all of the long service leave information on our website and you still have questions or concerns about your entitlements or you need help to work out the correct entitlement, please complete our long service leave form.