MINISTERS STATEMENTS: PORTABLE LONG SERVICE BENEFITS SCHEME
Mr PALLAS (Werribee) (11:18:14): I rise to update the house about the commencement of Victoria’s portable long service benefits scheme from 1 July. The Andrews Labor government is making it fairer for people working in security, contract cleaning and community services by giving them the portable long service benefits that they deserve—and in fact that many in our community have come to accept as a given. Under these new laws, workers will be entitled to new long service leave after working for seven years in their industry, irrespective of the number of employers that they have worked for over that time. A parliamentary committee found that workers in these industries often did the same work in the same place for many years without qualifying for long service entitlements. The new laws will give hardworking Victorians the same long service entitlements that the rest of us really do take for granted. The Portable Long Service Benefits Authority, which is headquartered in Bendigo and employs more than 30 people, is responsible for administering the scheme and ensuring compliance with Victorian businesses, which have from 1 July to 30 September to register for the scheme. These reforms are expected to benefit about 100 000 people in the community services sector, about 35 000 in the security sector and about 20 000 in the cleaning sector. These are people who are missing out on long service leave and important family time through no fault of their own. Not only is the Andrews government making long service leave portable for more Victorians but we have introduced Victoria’s first labour hire licensing scheme. We are leading the way in responding to the challenges of the gig economy with Australia’s first inquiry into the on-demand workforce. Unlike the party of WorkChoices, the Andrews Labor government believes that Victorians deserve a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. We are not just saying that—we are getting the job done with some of the biggest reforms in workplace relations.