Ensuring fair long service leave entitlements for coal workers
The Albanese Labor Government is fixing unfair laws that reduce the long-service leave entitlements of casual employees in the black coal mining industry.
The Government is introducing legislation that will prevent casual workers in this industry from being disadvantaged compared to their permanent counterparts, just because of their employment status.
Currently, casual employees accrue long-service leave through a calculation that leads to their working hours being unfairly counted. Casuals in the industry may work a compressed fortnightly roster – longer hours in the first week and shorter hours in the second – but current weekly counting of these working hours reported by employers is denying casuals equality in their entitlements.
This measure is part of the Albanese Labor Government’s Protecting Worker Entitlements Bill, which will be introduced to Parliament this week.
Minister for Workplace Relations Tony Burke said the fix will benefit an estimated 6,000 workers.
“There’s no excuse for dudding workers out of their entitlements,” Minister Burke said.
“Casuals in the black coal mining industry deserve fair treatment. They deserve the long-service leave entitlements they earned.”
Casuals in the industry will also benefit from an amendment that makes it clear that the amount paid out as part of an employee’s long-service leave entitlement must include casual loading.
Levies paid by employers to the Coal Mining Industry (Long-Service Leave Funding) Scheme must also include casual loading. This will ensure that casuals do not take a pay cut when accessing their long-service leave entitlement.
These changes were recommended by an independent review in 2021 into the Coal Mining Industry (Long-Service Leave Funding) Scheme, to ensure that casual employees are treated no less favourably than permanent employees in the industry.