Portable long service in the contract cleaning industry

Information for businesses employing contract cleaning workers and how portable long service applies.

What is contract cleaning work?

Under the Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme, the contract cleaning industry is where employers are contracted to carry out cleaning work by a third party and employ workers to perform this work.

Under the Scheme, cleaning work is any work that aims to bring premises into, or maintain, a clean condition.

Premises can include part or all, of any land or structure and includes swimming pools and their surrounding grounds.

What is not contract cleaning work?

Cleaning work that is not covered by the Scheme includes:

  • cleaning of things that are mobile (e.g. aircraft, boats, cars, trains and caravans)
  • removal of waste from commercial waste receptacles
  • cleaning and maintenance of grounds surrounding a building or house when this consists of gardening and the removal or alteration of vegetation
  • cleaning a building or house under construction.

Who is a contract cleaning employer?

Victorian employers that are engaged in the contract cleaning industry and employ at least one other person to undertake cleaning work, must register with the Portable Long Service Authority.

This includes employers that employ workers to perform cleaning work on behalf of another organisation engaged in the contract cleaning industry.

Learn more about employer obligations

Contract workers

Self-employed workers performing cleaning work for another person or organisation can choose to register for the Scheme. They will be required to meet employer obligations and will receive entitlements to portable long service benefits as a result.

Who is not an employer?

The following are not employers for the Scheme, even if they have workers performing contract cleaning work:

  • federal or state government departments or agencies
  • local governments or other public statutory bodies
  • entities with a governing body appointed under an Act of the Commonwealth or the State.

Who is a contract cleaning worker?

To be eligible for portable long service in the contract cleaning industry, workers must be employed by an employer for the Scheme as outlined earlier, and the worker's predominant activity of their substantive role (not acting role or secondment) must be cleaning work.

Eligible workers include apprentices, casuals and any individuals with employment agreements requiring them to learn cleaning work.

Learn more about worker entitlements

Who is not eligible for portable long service?

Workers registered with LeavePlus from 1 January 2022 may be eligible to register for portable long service if one of the following circumstances apply:

  1. The LeavePlus levy is no longer being paid by an employer (and the worker remains on the LeavePlus register)
  2. The LeavePlus levy is being paid by an employer and the worker also performs work for an employer in the covered industry.

For example, in the second scenario, where a worker is employed by an employer registered with LeavePlus in the construction industry and also employed by an employer in the contract cleaning industry, they may be eligible for portable long service with the Authority for the contract cleaning industry work.

Workers employed by employers that don’t meet the requirements for registration with the Authority are not eligible for portable long service, even if they are undertaking contract cleaning work.

Workers employed under the following awards are not eligible for the scheme:

  • the Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2020
  • the Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Awards 2020
  • the Airline Operations Ground Staff Award 2020
  • the Waste Management Award 2020.

Employer obligations

Registered employers must submit quarterly returns to the Authority in October, January, April and July each year.

Quarterly returns are completed through the employer portal and employers will need to provide details for all eligible workers during the reporting period, including:

  • the hours worked and ordinary pay received by each worker
  • any long service leave taken by a worker
  • workers who stopped working for the business.

Based on this information, a levy will be calculated that employers must pay. This levy will cover the cost of future portable long service claims by eligible workers.

Learn more about quarterly returns

Case studies and examples