Long service leave (LSL) is paid leave available to an employee who has worked continuously for the same employer over a long period (between 7 and 15 years depending on the LSL legislation applying where the employee works.

LSL accrues based on the employee’s continuous service with one employer. This is usually straightforward to determine for permanent employees you employ on an ongoing basis. However, it can be difficult to determine if an employee’s service is broken, such as for:

  • casual employees;
  • seasonal employees; or
  • Employees who serve under successive fixed-term contracts

For these types of employees, special rules apply when determining whether service is continuous for the required LSL qualifying period. An employee’s LSL entitlement will usually be determined by the legislation in the State or Territory where they are employed. In certain circumstances, however, the LSL entitlement will not be governed by the local LSL law. For example: LSL provisions in awards or agreements may override the local LSL legislation;


Long Service Leave Entitlement in NSW as per NSW Long Service Leave Act 1955


LSL entitlement

Minimum period of continuous service to accrue LSL: 10 years.

  • Minimum period of continuous service to receive pro rata payment: 5 years if employment ends because:
  • employee dies;
  • employee is dismissed for reasons other than serious and wilful misconduct; or
  • employee resigns because of illness, incapacity, domestic or other pressing necessity of such nature to justify resignation

Formula to calculate entitlement: 8.667 weeks per 10 years’ service and 4.334 weeks for each 5 years’ service thereafter.



  • Bonuses (if the employee’s salary does not exceed $144,000).
  • Commissions, averaged over the last 12 months or the last 5 years, whichever is higher.
  • Cash value of board and lodging provided by employer.


  • Non-cash items
  • Shift allowances
  • Overtime
  • Penalties

Need Help?

If you have a query regarding long service leave and require assistance, please contact one of our Tax Accountants on (02) 9223 9166 to discuss. Alternatively, you can submit an online enquiry form.