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External environment, challenges and risks

An overview of the Portable Long Service Authority's external environment, challenges and risks.

External environment

The Act addresses a long-identified gap in the industrial relations landscape relating to long service. Previously, many workers who remain employed in the covered industries have been unable to meet the requirements to accrue long service leave due to the contractual nature of employment in those sectors.

We have an important role in supporting our stakeholders to understand to whom the levy applies, how it is administered and how the Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme operates.

The Authority also has compliance powers, and it will adjust its regulatory posture to strike a balance between the use of these compliance powers in the face of clear wrongdoing and educating stakeholders to understand how to comply with their obligations under the Act.

Key challenges and risks

Operations – As a start-up Authority, there was significant work to establish operations, train staff and understand the needs of stakeholders. Supported by Industrial Relations Victoria within the Department of Premier and Cabinet, much of the foundational work was already in place enabling the Authority to commence full operations on 1 July 2019.

The Authority will continue to work to consolidate processes and procedures, and refine them where necessary over time, to ensure efficient and effective service delivery to eligible workers and employers who are required to be registered in order to comply with the Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme.

Investment

The Authority is required to invest employer contributions prudently to ensure that there are sufficient assets to meet long service leave needs of workers. Funds must be invested wisely to withstand volatile financial market conditions.

The Authority sets and reviews regularly its Investment Strategy Policy to take into account changes in market conditions.
The appointed actuary will provide scrutiny over the adequacy of the funds held by the Authority.

Contribution levy payments

For the Scheme to remain sustainable over the long-term, and to comply with the Act, eligible employers must register and pay the required contribution levy from 1 July 2019.

During the first year of operations, the Authority will focus heavily on education and communication with affected employers and workers to promote awareness of the Scheme and the obligations imposed by it. The Authority will also have a fair and equitable compliance framework to address and prosecute compliance breaches identified by the Authority.

Information technology

It is of paramount importance that the storing and use of private information collected from employers and workers is kept secure.

The Authority oversees and rigorously monitors its partnerships with service providers who support and maintain our critical
IT systems and infrastructure. Regular testing, monitoring and backups of information are performed within the internal control framework that has been established.

The Authority is working towards a Risk Management approach which aims to achieve best practice in strategic risk management.

Reviewed 18 February 2020

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