Articles > Construction

Can an Independent Contractor be Entitled to Long Service Leave?

August 24, 2023   Anthea Dinh-TramPhilip Evangelou

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    Independent contractors generally provide services under a contract where they negotiate their own fees and working arrangements. They use their own tools and processes, and may work for several clients at a time. On the other hand, the Long Service Leave Act 1955 allows full-time, part-time, and casual employees to receive two months paid long service leave after ten years of service with their employer. This article finds out whether independent contractors may be entitled to long service leave although they are not employees. 

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    Where the Long Service Leave Act 1955 does not apply to contractors, portable long service leave will be available to those working in the following industries: 

    • Building and Construction

    Australian states and territories have passed legislation, providing building and construction workers access to long service leave regardless of their working arrangements with one or more employers. As NSW has entered into a National Reciprocal Agreement, construction work done interstate will count towards a contractor’s long service leave. The NSW Service Corporation provides information on how to register and complete a long service record, here.

    • Coal Mining Industry

    The Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave Funding) Corporation (Coal LSL) administers long service leave in the black coal mining industry. Coal LSL provides contractors entitlement to long service leave after eight years, sometimes sooner, of qualifying service. Details are found on their website

    • Contract Cleaning Industry 

    In NSW, long service schemes are available for workers in the cleaning industry under the Contract Cleaning Industry (Portable Long Service Leave Scheme) Act 2010. It covers full-time, part-time, and casual cleaners who are employed by a business or self-employed. Additional information, including about registration, is found on the Service NSW site


    Overall, an independent contractor will be entitled to long service leave if they work in either the building and construction, coal mining, or cleaning industry. Otherwise, the Long Service Leave Act 1955, which allows employees two months paid long service leave after ten years of service, will not apply to independent contractors. 

    If you have any queries about your contractor situation, do not hesitate to contact OpenLegal at at 1300 337 997. Alternatively, you could fill in the form on this page.

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    About Anthea Dinh-Tram

    Anthea Dinh-TramAnthea works as a legal intern with OpenLegal, whilst studying a Bachelor of Communication (Public Communication)/Laws at UTS Sydney.

    About Philip Evangelou

    phillipPhil is a director at OpenLegal. He has over 16 years experience working in private practice and in-house counsel in Sydney and London, giving him expertise in employment law, IP, finance, leases, dispute resolution, insurance and contracts.

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