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portable long service leave

Silcar Communications: long service leave alert

A number of employees at Silcar Communications (now part of Visionstream) have recently contacted the CWU over long service leave problems. 

The current Silcar Communications Enterprise Agreement, which is still in force, provides for employee long service leave entitlements to be paid into a portable long service leave fund. The actual fund varies from state to state but the principal is the same wherever an employee is based. 

It appears however that this has not been happening in Victoria and possibly elsewhere. 

This issue was raised by Victorian employees earlier this year during enterprise bargaining discussions and the CWU understood the matter was being addressed. 

However employees have since reported that on resigning from Silcar/Visionstream to go to a new employer they have been told that their leave entitlements have not been paid into the relevant fund and they would be paid out by Silcar, whether they wanted that or not. 

The whole point of this clause in the EA is to ensure that employees in a volatile industry are not disadvantaged by being paid out their long service leave before they want to take it – or indeed not being eligible for any at all. Affected employees are justifiably angry about this situation which in fact is a breach of the EA. 

Following CWU representations, Silcar is conducting a national review of procedures which should be completed by the end of the week beginning 14 May. In the meantime, payouts for employees leaving the company have been suspended. 

All Silcar employees are encouraged to check whether or not their entitlements are going into the funds specified in the current EA.  Employees should note that these arrangements have been “red circled” in the current EA negotiations i.e. they will continue until at least the end of 2018.

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