Release type: Media Release

Date:

Reforms to long service leave benefit all workers in coal mining industry

Ministers:

Senator the Hon Chris Evans
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations
Leader of the Government in the Senate

Employees in the black coal mining industry will have a guaranteed entitlement to long service leave thanks to reforms passed by Parliament, Minister for Workplace Relations, Senator Chris Evans said today.

The Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave) Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 will provide greater certainty for employees and remove any reliance on award provisions by providing a new statutory entitlement to long service leave in the black coal mining industry. 

“This Bill expands provisions first introduced in 2009 to allow all employees, including casuals and apprentices, access to the same long service leave provisions as permanent employees,” Senator Evans said.

“The reforms were proposed by an Industry Working Party which included representatives from employer and employee associations in the black coal mining industry.

“The Australian Government is pleased to have facilitated these amendments, which will benefit both employers and employees in the black coal mining industry. “

Senator Evans said the legislation also allows for employees to have prior service recognised towards their long service leave, if they take a break from the industry.

Previously an absence from the workforce of more than three months could have meant that continuity of service for the purposes of accruing long service leave was broken and service prior to the break might not be recognised. 

These amendments enable employees to work away from the industry for up to eight years without losing of recognition of service.