Page 4070 - Week 13 - Thursday, 31 October 2013

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In administering the act, the authority has identified several minor changes that would assist employers and workers to comply with their duties. These are also reflected in the bill. Firstly, it confirms that the act does not affect workers who have more beneficial long service leave entitlements under a contract of employment.

The bill also clarifies how a worker can elect to take their long service leave under another law when they have accrued some entitlements with the authority. In addition, it makes clear when the registrar is able to reimburse a payment made to an employee under another long service leave law. Finally, the bill makes minor consequential amendments to give effect to the changes I have described and to make the law easier to understand and apply.

The territory has the most comprehensive portable long service leave schemes in Australia. In January this year, a portable scheme came into effect for the security industry. In the first six months of this scheme, the Long Service Leave Authority registered 17 new employers and more than one 1,000 workers. By allowing workers to take their entitlements with them, portable schemes protect workers’ entitlements. These schemes also contribute to the sustainability of industries by helping to attract and retain workers, rewarding those who choose to stay in the industry.

The reality is that, for many workers, moving between employers and between contracts is a fact of life. In establishing past schemes, the government has selected industries characterised by frequent changes in working arrangements. This is indicated by factors such as a high proportion of short-term, casual and part-time work as well as contract work.

The government is committed to protecting the entitlement to long service leave. Later in 2013, I will introduce a bill to extend the contract cleaning scheme to waste workers. This step recognises the importance of this sector and its workforce to the ACT community and seeks to improve attraction and retention of workers in the future. Extending the portable scheme for the contract cleaning industry to these workers will enable a broader range of workers to qualify for long service leave in the future and will ensure the territory remains at the forefront of protecting workers’ rights and assisting to build these essential industries. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.

Nature Conservation Bill 2013—exposure draft

Papers and statement by minister

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney—General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development): For the information of members I present the following papers:

Nature Conservation Bill 2013—

Exposure Draft.

Draft Explanatory statement to the Exposure Draft.

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