Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 11 Hansard (16 November) . . Page.. 3578..
MR BARR (continuing):
The Long Service Leave (Contract Cleaning Industry) Amendment Bill 2006 will ensure that the portable long service leave scheme for the contracting cleaning industry continues to operate effectively.
Contract cleaners are among the most vulnerable workers in the ACT and the Long Service Leave (Contract Cleaning Industry) Act 1999, the cleaning long service leave act, creates an a portable long service leave scheme for workers in the contract cleaning industry. The scheme allows these vulnerable workers to accrue and access long service leave where they might otherwise have been unable to do so.
Under the scheme, workers are entitled to take long service leave after 10 years of service. Payments for the leave are financed by contributions made by employers on behalf of each of their employees and some contractors who make contributions for themselves. Registered workers are then credited for their service in the industry. When workers accrue sufficient credits, they are entitled to access long service leave.
The cleaning long service leave act is not the only ACT legislation that provides workers in the cleaning industry with access to long service leave. The Long Service Leave Act 1976, the Long Service Leave Act, also provides workers with an entitlement to long service leave. Section 64 of the contract cleaning act ensures that workers can only access a long service leave entitlement under one of these acts.
Under section 64, workers who are entitled to long service leave under both the cleaning long service leave act and the Long Service Leave Act must choose the law that they wish to use to access their entitlement. Employees who use the general Long Service Leave Act to take long service leave are then not able to access entitlements under the cleaning long service leave act for that service. Section 64 also allows the Contract Cleaning Long Service Leave Board to refund payments made by employers where those employers are obliged to pay the employees' long service leave entitlements under the Long Service Leave Act.
Section 64 has a sunset clause and will expire on 31 December 2006. An assessment of the operation of section 64 by the Registrar of the Contract Cleaning Long Service Leave Board confirms that the current system is indeed working well and should be continued. This bill will remove that sunset clause in subsection 64 (6), allowing the current arrangements to continue. This will ensure that employers are obliged to pay for the long service leave entitlements of their employees once and will allow employees to choose the long service leave legislation that they wish to use to access their entitlements.
Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak ) adjourned to the next sitting.
Planning and Environment-Standing Committee
Debate resumed from 6 June 2006, on motion by Mr Gentleman:
That the report be noted.