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Long Service Leave - WWYD?


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49 replies to this topic

#1 Lalala4

Posted 19 July 2019 - 08:36 PM

Ten weeks paid leave available from late next year. Husband with flexible work, but kids in high school. We rent and don't have a lot of extra cash.

What are your specific suggestions for making good use of this time? Have you used it for something major? I probably won't have this opportunity again and don't want to waste it!

Do people ever ask to be paid out a portion, eg could I have nine weeks away from the office but ten weeks' pay?

#2 José

Posted 19 July 2019 - 08:39 PM

i can take my LSL at full pay or half pay.

whats the rush to take your LSL?

#3 JomoMum

Posted 19 July 2019 - 08:44 PM

Your company should have a very clear policy on what they will allow.

Most wont pay out LSL unless you have a balance remaining if/when you leave the company. Most will also insist you take it all in one go.

I would not take it for the sake of taking it.

DH will be in the same position next January. His company allows them to take it in 4 weeks increments, so it will cover a trip to the US the year after and he won’t need to touch his annual leave. Much of a muchness though really.

#4 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 19 July 2019 - 08:46 PM

In your situation I would probably save it. Start a holiday fund, save for the next few years, once the kids are out of high school, take 6 months off and travel around Australia in a caravan or something without the kids.

Not sure how your works, but once we qualify for LSL we accrue a week a year from then on. So if you save your annual leave and LSL it won’t be long before you have a massive amount of leave to use when the kids aren’t in school.

#5 luke's mummu

Posted 19 July 2019 - 08:49 PM

My company lets us take LSL in 2 week blocks. Honestly in your situation, I’d probably look for a temporary job to get some extra cash- and then plan a family holiday to spend that extra cash! Depending on your industry- you may be more likely to find work as a Christmas/ holiday casual

#6 TwinkyBear

Posted 19 July 2019 - 09:00 PM

I'm struggling with my LSL too. I took 2 weeks off with the kids and husband this year and the eldest was affected at high school by receiving zeroes for every assessment missed, even though we gave lots of notice and offered to do the assessments early or do catch ups. It's made me not want to take any further holidays that take him out of school. (It's also made me quite angry at the school. He's in Year 7 for goodness sakes.)

I would like to travel but we have no one to watch the kids and the husband has made his feelings quite clear regarding me going on my own.

I have to have used it up or have determined by the end of next year a "plan" on how to use the leave before the next LSL accrues. I'm like you - I don't want to "waste" it, but I'm hesitant to cash it out. Writing relief lessons just to sit at home just isn't how I imagined my LSL to be.

#7 -Emissary-

Posted 19 July 2019 - 09:25 PM

There should be a policy on whether you can cash out LSL but I personally wouldn’t do it as it doesn’t benefit you tax wise and you don’t get super on any leave paid out.

If you don’t want to take it you can always just leave it. You don’t lose LSL so if you leave the company they will have to pay you out.

#8 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 19 July 2019 - 09:26 PM

Do you have to take it? I am confused.

I would not rush to "waste" it just because it is there. I have 25 yrs employment's worth of LSL. I like the safety net. I see it as either an extra insurance should I ever run out of sick leave with a major health issue, or as an early retirement buffer.

#9 27plus

Posted 19 July 2019 - 09:38 PM

LSL can't be cashed out (nsw). Annual leave can though, if employer agrees.

#10 ytt

Posted 19 July 2019 - 09:39 PM

I'm not taking my LSL, I'm leaving it in case I get sick or I need it to look after DD.

I don't need LSL as I have adequate leave during the year.

DH took his LSL and spent 3 months at home not leaving the house. That was his ideal, he loved it! DH goes away for work so the thought of sleeping in his bed every night is heaven. Me not so lol

DH is up for his second lot of LSL I hope he accrues it.... but I doubt he will lol

#11 TwinkyBear

Posted 19 July 2019 - 09:44 PM

It may be that lalala4 has to take the LSL. As a state teacher in WA, our salary agreement includes that LSL should be taken (or a plan made to take it) within 2 years of the LsL being accrued. This never used to be the case until a few years ago when older teachers began retiring en masse and cashing out years and years worth of LSL.

#12 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 19 July 2019 - 10:03 PM

View PostTwinkyBear, on 19 July 2019 - 09:44 PM, said:

It may be that lalala4 has to take the LSL. As a state teacher in WA, our salary agreement includes that LSL should be taken (or a plan made to take it) within 2 years of the LsL being accrued. This never used to be the case until a few years ago when older teachers began retiring en masse and cashing out years and years worth of LSL.
Wow. I am so lucky that is not the case here.

I understand that leave debt can get expensive as it accrues at one rate, and as pay scales go up, has to be paid out at a higher rate, but surely that just needs to be accounted for with some forms of leave. I also understand that there should be concerns around work-life balance for staff who are not taking significant chunks of annual leave. But must I automatically need/take more leave just because I have worked somewhere long term? I see LSL as a reward, not a forced leave. For me, being on LSL is actually a significant drop in pay (I get a composite wage for penalties, and rolled in overtime, but LSL is base wage), so it would be a punishment of sorts to have to take it without wanting/needing it.

#13 maryanneK

Posted 19 July 2019 - 10:04 PM

have a baby - that's what I did with my LSL ! :rofl:
Just kidding. I assume with high school aged kids that's not on your radar
But it was a very useful buffer/back up for me - like PPs have said -  because I didn't have any paid maternity leave from my employer.  So maybe hang on to it...

How long are you planning on staying at your job? If you are thinking of leaving and cant cash it out when you go, then you'll want to use it but otherwise as PPs have said, there's no rush.

Otherwise, your kids are in high school - I'd try and save a bit of money, do something as a family for 6 weeks over summer school holidays, then give yourself a few weeks before and after as pure personal relaxation time

#14 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 19 July 2019 - 10:11 PM

https://www.fairwork...g-service-leave

There are links discussing LSL for each state here, for anyone (like myself) who's curiosity has been piqued by this discussion.

#15 Lalala4

Posted 19 July 2019 - 10:48 PM

Thank you all, this is helpful!

There's no huge rush; just that after ten years in the one company I am starting to consider it may be time for a change, after the leave falls due. And I wouldn't be comfortable saving it up and cashing it out when I leave, because I'd only leave if I had another job lined up.

I'll talk to HR, I hadn't considered they might not let me take it in a block.

I guess I'm mostly looking for interesting things to do -  a short course (intensive language)? A particular type of trip somewhere? I feel it's a rare gift I want to use wisely...

#16 27plus

Posted 19 July 2019 - 11:02 PM

Why wouldn't you feel comfortable? It is an entitlement under any award.

I have started my first day of LSL after being with my employer for 11 years. I am using it to relax. No plans to go anywhere. I need the down time of being on the front line of the business. I am using just under half (4 weeks).

#17 Lalala4

Posted 19 July 2019 - 11:21 PM

I think I'm not considering cashing it in, because I'm valuing the time and opportunity more than the money. We're financially ok but not in skiing holiday type social strata.
Like you PP I need a break; but if I just spend it at home I think I'll regret it. We're not likely to retire early (if at all) so it feels like it may be my best chance to do something really worthwhile and different.

#18 Fizgig

Posted 19 July 2019 - 11:26 PM

My second lot of LSL is due next year. I have two young children who have been Velcro babies and kids. I will be taking mine while they are both in full time school and I plan to spend my time sitting and reading as much as possible. My kids have been, and still are, hard work and I will be using the time to build back my emotional and sleep reserves. It may be different for you with high school kids but I’m just planning on a lot of quiet time.

Definitely check the policy. My employer requires us to take our first LSL in one block, though subsequent ones can be taken piecemeal. We also have to book it by October of the year before so isn’t technically available for sudden illness (though work is fairly compassionate and would probably work it out).

#19 27plus

Posted 19 July 2019 - 11:58 PM

I am concerned about how people think they can use LSL leave. Disregarding the amount of time, LSL can't be used in place of sick leave. Much the same as if you become unwell on annual leave , with a doctors certificate you can get a "credit" for that time against your annual leave.

LSL has very strict criteria to follow.

#20 pitzinoodles

Posted 20 July 2019 - 12:10 AM

View Post27plus, on 19 July 2019 - 11:58 PM, said:

I am concerned about how people think they can use LSL leave. Disregarding the amount of time, LSL can't be used in place of sick leave. Much the same as if you become unwell on annual leave , with a doctors certificate you can get a "credit" for that time against your annual leave.

LSL has very strict criteria to follow.

Many workplaces would allow someone to use their LSL if they are sick and need extended time off work. Once the sick leave is exhausted people apply for it instead of applying for leave without pay. Obviously at the organizations discretion, but i’ve heard it used in this way across several workplaces.

#21 nom_de_plume

Posted 20 July 2019 - 04:50 AM

View Post27plus, on 19 July 2019 - 11:58 PM, said:

I am concerned about how people think they can use LSL leave. Disregarding the amount of time, LSL can't be used in place of sick leave. Much the same as if you become unwell on annual leave , with a doctors certificate you can get a "credit" for that time against your annual leave.

LSL has very strict criteria to follow.

Depending on what state you live in and whether your long service leave is governed by state law or an EBA, you can actually use it in a myriad of ways.

I agree most employers wouldn’t let you use it for an adhoc day of personal leave, but if you’re on any sort of extended leave and had exhausted your other paid entitlements, most would let you use your LSL. Leave provision is a liability so most companies are pretty keen to get it down.

I’m in Victoria and my LSL is derived from an EBA, but we no longer have to take it in a block. It can now be taken for shorter periods, used as a transition to retirement etc. Many people use it to extend their paid period of parental leave.

#22 .Jerry.

Posted 20 July 2019 - 06:42 AM

LSL for me can be taken day at a time if we want to.  So I can use it instead of taking unpaid leave for special events etc (thinks that are not sick leave).

I used a block of LSL up when I had DD.
Recently also used some for a short overseas holiday.
Still have 18 weeks built up for when I want them.

We certainly can take LSL for long blocks of sick leave if we have run out of sick leave.  Some people use it when they need surgery and don't have much sick leave.  (though I also have 39 weeks sick leave built up).

I agee with wanting to "do" something with your leave or it feels wasted.
I would do a lower cost road trip exploring your state or next state.  Maybe camp to lower cost?

#23 José

Posted 20 July 2019 - 07:08 AM

View Post27plus, on 19 July 2019 - 09:38 PM, said:

LSL can't be cashed out (nsw). Annual leave can though, if employer agrees.

but if you leave the employer it gets paid out. i think.

#24 PhillipaCrawford

Posted 20 July 2019 - 07:17 AM

In Victoria it can be taken in smaller blocks, you can access it from 7 years and yes it is paid out when you leave.

I just took my first ever LSL this year when the youngest finished school, we went O/S.
It was my 'reward' for getting through 22 years of the school system. I'd save it up until you were in a position to leave them and go somewhere.

#25 onetrick

Posted 20 July 2019 - 08:00 AM

We have people taking LSL in all sorts of weird combinations- a couple of staff this year are working a lower time fraction while being paid at a full time rate.
My MIL was a primary teacher who never took LSL for a big holiday so a few years before retirement she took a term off at double pay and had the most amazing overseas holiday.
Everyone is different in how they use it and I love that :) I cant imagine taking a term off to stay at home but plenty of colleagues do. They cant imagine the types of holidays I love with constant sightseeing (with a 14mo this is just a dream at the moment!).




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