Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 2 March 2004) . . Page.. 435 ..
Tuesday, 2 March 2004
The Assembly met at 10.30 am.
MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair and made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional owners, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.
MR SPEAKER: I acknowledge the presence in the gallery of Ms Rosemary Follett, a former Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory. Welcome.
Legal Affairs—Standing Committee
MR STEFANIAK (10.32): Mr Speaker, I present the following report:
Legal Affairs—Standing Committee—Report 10—Long Service Leave (Private Sector) Bill 2003, dated 24 February 2004, together with the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.
That the report be noted.
Mr Speaker, I have dissented from this report, and I will say a bit more about that later. I note that this bill was referred to the committee on 5 May 2003. My committee certainly prides itself—and I think I speak for my other two members, Mr Hargreaves and Ms Tucker—on trying to do things expeditiously. We had a bit of problem in that, despite repeated requests, the government declined to give a position on this interesting bill. It was indicated to us that the government was not going to make a formal submission. The committee has now introduced its report, having held public hearings and deliberating.
Basically, long service leave is a period of paid leave from work which has generally been granted to employees after a continuous period of service with an employer. It has its genesis back in colonial times when colonial officials would be granted long service leave, after a period of years in the colonies, to go back to Great Britain.
The purpose of such leave, as articulated in various cases and in parliamentary proceedings, is to reward long serving employees and provide them with a respite from work and enable them to renew their energies at intervals during their working life. It can be used as an incentive by an employer to retain an employee and to reduce labour turnover. It is something the public service in Australia has had for a number of decades.
As the report indicates, legislation has been passed to extend these entitlements to the private sector as well. Page 2 of the report lists the long service leave entitlements to