Delivering a quality Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme to protect the benefits of those who are entitled to them.
Background to the Authority
The Portable Long Service Benefits Authority is an independent statutory body established to administer the Long Service Benefits Portability Act 2018 (Vic) (the Act). The Act, together with the Long Service Benefits Portability Regulations 2019 (Vic) (Regulations) provides a scheme for the portability of long service benefits to eligible workers in the contract cleaning, security and community services sector.
The new scheme was created in response to the Victorian Parliament’s Economic, Education, Jobs and Skills Committee inquiry into portability of long service leave entitlements. This will enable eligible workers in the community services, contract cleaning and security industries to accrue long service benefits based on length of time employed in their respective industry as opposed to length of time employed by one employer.
The Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme is intended to bring fairness and equity to these industry workplaces in Victoria.
Delivering a quality Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme to protect the benefits of those who are entitled to them.
Administering an effective Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme in the sectors we serve by prudent, sustainable investment and supporting all stakeholders, including employers and workers alike, as well as educate and enforce every stakeholder’s role and interest in the scheme.
The Authority has adopted the Victorian Public Sector values that underpin the behaviours that the government and community rightly expect of the staff of the Authority. Expressed below is what those core values mean to the Authority. Acting consistently with these values strengthens the Authority’s capacity to operate effectively and achieve our objectives.
|Responsiveness||We are approachable and provide timely, useful and accurate information.|
|Integrity||We have unbiased and honest interactions.|
|Impartiality||We are fair and consistent in our application of the law.|
|Accountability||We fulfil our objectives in a clear, transparent and responsible manner.|
|Respect||We respect our stakeholders, each other and ourselves.|
|Leadership||We seek to have a positive influence and to empower others.|
|Human rights||We administer the law and deliver decisions, advice and policy that respect and support everyone’s human rights.|
The Authority’s primary objectives are to:
- Fulfil our legislative obligations by effectively administering and supporting compliance with the Long Service Portability Act 2018 (Vic).
- Implement effective responsible budget and investment strategies which grow levy funds and deliver long-term sustainability.
- Be clear, consistent, transparent and responsive in our stakeholder communications which encourages registration, levy payments and ensures that eligible workers and employers are aware of their rights and obligations.
- Maintain a healthy and safe workplace with a culture that encourages engaged, resilient and solution-focused staff.
- Implement an innovative, secure, resilient and integrated information technology environment that supports effective operations now and in the future.
- Protect the long-term interests of the Authority through effective regulation using governance, strategic risk management and clear policies and procedures.
Over of the operating environment and achievements of the Portable Long Service Authority.
Under the Long Service Portability Act 2018 (Vic) (the Act), the Authority administers and operates the Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme for employers and eligible workers in Victoria’s community services, contract cleaning and security industries.
From 1 July 2019, businesses employing workers in these industries must register with the Authority on our online registration system. The Authority will liaise with employers to support them to understand their obligations under the Act and how the levy that employers must pay for their eligible workers will be applied. Each quarter, commencing in October 2019, registered businesses will be required to lodge a quarterly return to the Authority that details relevant worker information and pay a levy which will be invested by the Authority with the objective of meeting future long service payments to eligible workers.
The Scheme allows eligible workers to accrue long service leave, even if they change employers but remain in the same industry. Registered workers will be able to access the Authority’s online system and check their balances or update details at any time. When workers become entitled, usually after at least 7 years of service, they can apply for payment of their long service benefit.
The Authority has a Governing Board that reports to the Minister for Industrial Relations.
In accordance with the Act, the Governing Board will:
- set the levy to be paid by employers and contract workers
- be responsible for the governance, strategic planning and risk management of the Authority
- advise the Minister on agreements for corresponding schemes across Australia
- perform functions and exercise the powers of the Authority that it deems appropriate
The Chief Executive Officer / Registrar, who is a member of the Governing Board, is responsible for the administration of the day-to-day management of the affairs of the Authority.
An Audit and Risk Committee will also provide support and assurance, as well as advice to the Governing Board.
Key achievements of the Authority since the commencement of operations include the setting of the employer levy by the Governing Board for each of the community services, contract cleaning and security industries.
The Authority has also put in place effective systems and processes to support its core operations with key policies and procedures to enable good governance and strong controls. The Authority is communicating effectively with its stakeholders to ensure that information is available for those affected by the new Scheme.
The Victorian Government chose Bendigo as the location of the Authority as part of its commitment to invest in regional Victoria. The Authority has supported this initiative and grown jobs in the region by recruiting from the talented pool of staff and using suppliers that are available from the local area where possible.
The Authority now has a dedicated and talented workforce comprising of well-trained customer service operators based in our Bendigo offices, each of whom is eager to play their part in supporting this important initiative.
External environment, challenges and risks
An overview of the Portable Long Service Authority's external environment, challenges and risks.
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.
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.
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.
An overview of the way the Portable Long Service Authority's performance will be measured.
We recognise that all eligible employers and workers have obligations under the Act from 1 July 2019. Our goal is to ensure that all of those who must register do register with the Authority.
Key performance measures 2019-20 are:
|Performance measures||2019-20 target|
|The number of workers registered under |
the Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme
|The number of employers registered under |
the Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme
At an operational level, the Authority has developed a set of initiatives, activities and other supporting key performance measures that will monitor the progress of key activities within the Authority. These are in the Appendix. In the setting of these initial targets, the Authority has also considered the risks to the achievement of these objectives. This process is iterative and will continue to be refined during the first year of the Authority’s operations.
Resources - Financial
An overview of the Portable Long Service Authority's financial resources.
For the 2019-20 financial year, the Authority will be fully funded from Government grants to support the initial establishment of the Authority.
Ongoing financial sustainability will be achieved through an administration charge to the Scheme. Employers and eligible workers will not be required to pay a separate amount other than their levy rate contribution. The levy rate is necessary to ensure the sustainability of the Scheme as the liability for long service leave increases and accumulates over time.
Key financial assumptions
The 2019-20 Statement of Financial Performance budget is based on the following assumptions:
- The levy rates set at 1.65% for the Community Services sector, 1.80% for the Contract Cleaning sector and 1.80% for the Security sector are maintained for the full financial year.
- There are no revenue transfers within the portfolio on a $ per worker basis for operational expenses within the operating account during the 2019-20 financial year.
- CPI increase per year.
- Costs are based on known contractual amounts where available but have been estimated using best available information for forecast costs.
Summary Financial Performance for 2019-20
Overall the Authority is budgeting a neutral result for the 2019-20 financial year. One of the objectives of the Authority in the first year of operations is to register as many eligible employers into the Scheme as possible. This will ensure that levy contributions flow into the Scheme to support the long service leave liability of registered workers.
The 5-year revenue and expense budget outlook is as follows:
|Revenue ($)|| |
|Expenses ($)||301|| |
|Net result ($)|| |
|No. of workers||75,000||88,268||115,247||156,094||164,459|
|Cost per worker ($)||-||51.88||53.15||40.17||38.75|
1 The projected surplus result for the 2019-20 financial year represents unspent amounts from government’s initial contribution to establish the Authority and will be used to provide offset funding in the first two years of Scheme operations until the Authority becomes financially independent.
The financial performance of the Authority as well as the Scheme assets of the Authority are also subject to annual audits by the Victorian Auditor General’s Office.
Overview of the Portable Long Service Authority's operational key performance measures.
|Fulfil our legislative obligations by effectively administering and supporting compliance with the Long Service Portability Act 2018 (Vic)(the Act).|| || || |
|Implement effective responsible budget and investment strategies which grow levy funds and deliver long-term sustainability.|| || || |
|Be clear, consistent, transparent and responsive in our stakeholder communications which encourages registration and levy payments and ensures that eligible workers and employers are aware of their rights and obligations.|| || || |
|Maintain a healthy and safe workplace with a culture that encourages engaged, resilient and solution-focused staff.|| || || |
|Implement innovative, secure, resilient and integrated information technology environment that supports effective operations now and into the future.|| || || |
|Protect the long-term interests of the Authority through effective regulation using governance, strategic risk management and clear policies and procedures.|| || || ||PLSA:
Structure and key relationships
Overview of the structure and key relationships of the Portable Long Service Authority.
Governing Board and Chief Executive Officer/Registrar
The Portable Long Service Benefits Authority has a Governing Board comprising a mix of expert skills, qualifications and experience including individuals from organisations who represent employers and workers in the three covered industries.
Our Governing Board members are:
- Mr Julius Roe, Chair
- Ms Claire Filson, Deputy Chair
- Ms Emma King
- Ms Kate Marshall
- Mr Tim Piper
- Ms Rachaell Saunders
- Ms Julie Warren
- Ms Linda White
- Mr Joseph Yeung, CEO and Registrar
Role Member Minister for Industrial Relations Tim Pallas
Role Member Governing Board Chair Julius Roe Governing Board Deputy Chair Claire Filson Victorian Council of Social Services Emma King Health Services Union Kate Marshall Australian Industry Group Tim Piper National Protective Services Rachaell Saunders National Union of Workers Julie Warren Australian Services Union Linda White
Role Member Chief Executive Officer Joseph Yeung Chief Financial Officer Peter Leersen
A flowchart of the Authority's governance structure can be found below.
Business units within the Authority
|The Executive, Governance, Legal and Secretariat Business Unit is responsible for establishing good governance, delivering sound legal advice to the Authority as well as facilitating the efficient and effective running of the Governing Board and Audit and Risk Committee.|
|The Financial Services Business Unit underpins our organisation’s operations and the Chief Financial Officer who leads the Financial Services Business Unit has specific responsibilities under the Financial Management Act 1994 (Vic).|
|The Client Service and Operations Business Unit is the largest business unit within the Authority and delivers our core Registry and Enforcement functions to the public.|
|The Facilities, Information and Technology Business Unit underpins our core operations and manages key vendors which support our network infrastructure and telephony systems.|
Our people are our greatest asset. Without our people, we have no capability to fulfil our statutory obligations under the Act.
The People and Culture Business Unit supports the growth and development of our people and culture.
As a new scheme in Victoria, it is vital that we communicate and engage with employers and eligible workers across the covered sectors. It is equally important that as a regulator, we assist eligible employers and workers to understand their obligations under the Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme.
The Communications and Engagement Business Unit has responsibilities to deliver these core functions.
The Portable Long Service Benefits Authority is accountable to the Minister for Industrial Relations.
Industrial Relations Victoria (IRV) in the Department of Premier and Cabinet is responsible for project management to establish the initial aspects of the Portable Long Service Benefits Authority. This work is being carried out progressively with the Authority. IRV will also be the departmental contact for ongoing relations with the Authority and the Governing Board.
The Portable Long Service Benefits Industry Working Group is a representative and advisory group and includes members from relevant government departments, unions, peak bodies and advocacy groups. It was set up specifically to shape and provide input into the legislation. This Industry Working Group is managed by the Department of Health and Human Services and provides industry links and helps to build support and participation within the community services sector,
contract cleaning and security industries. IRV, Department of Treasury and Finance and Department of Education and Training participate.
Eligible workers and employers in the community services sector, contract cleaning and security industries are key stakeholders as it is vital that they understand their rights and obligations under the Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme. Other related key stakeholders include relevant unions and employer organisations.
The Authority liaises closely with the other agencies responsible for overseeing the integrity of Victoria’s industrial relations policy and initiatives:
- the Wage inspectorate Victoria, operating as part of Industrial Relations Victoria, carries out a range of education, compliance, and enforcement functions relating to Victoria’s industrial laws, including child employment laws
- the Labour Hire Authority, which is an independent body that regulates the new business licensing system for the provision of labour hire services to protect vulnerable labour hire workers from exploitation
The Authority has also developed close working relationships with its counterpart authorities in other Australian jurisdictions such as the Long Service Leave Authority established under the Long Service Leave (Portable Schemes) Act 2009 (ACT), a Scheme similar to Victoria’s Scheme operating in the Australian Capital Territory.
The Authority continues to build, strengthen and further develop relationships with stakeholders who are affected or have an interest in the Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme.
Resources – People
An overview of the Portable Long Service Authority's human resources.
The Authority forecasts 31 FTE in 2019-20. The below table is a graphic representation of the projected structure based on this forecast.
Portable Long Service Benefits Authority - Staff headcount by VPS Levels
|VPS 2||VPS 3||VPS 4||VPS 5||VPS 6||STS||Executive|
Projected organisational structure
CEO/Registrar – Statutory Appointment
- Executive Assistant to CEO and CFO VPS 4
CFO - Financial Services - Executive
- Finance Manager VPS 5
- Finance Officer 2 x VPS 3
Head of Governance & Policy – STS
- Principal Legal Advisor VPS 6
Operations Manager VPS 6
- Team Leader 2 x VPS 4
- Customer Service Officer 6 x VPS 3
- Customer Service Officer 9 x VPS 2
Information Technology Manager VPS 6
- IT Support Officer VPS 3
People and Culture Manager VPS 6
- Learning and Development Officer VPS 4
Communications and Engagement Adviser VPS 6
A flowchart of the Authority's staff head count by VPS levels can be found below:
During the 2019-20 operating year, the Authority’s focus will be on:
- building a work culture that is collegiate, effective and values-based
- ensuring that staff facilities are safe and fit for purpose
- designing health and safety policies and associated processes and
- implementation of fit-for-purpose training plan to develop support and grow staff competencies
Reviewed 18 February 2020