Feedback sought on changes to construction industry long service leave scheme
Published Thursday, 02 May, 2019 at 04:07 PM
Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace
The Palaszczuk Government is seeking feedback on proposed changes to construction industry portable long service leave levy arrangements aimed at ensuring the scheme’s long-term financial viability.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the building and construction industry portable long service leave scheme, which is administered by QLeave, ensures workers can accrue long service leave even if they change employers or work interstate.
“The scheme is funded by a levy based on building project costs, with similar portable long service leave schemes in other states,” Ms Grace said.
“It is one of three levies collected under the Building and Construction Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 1991. The other levies are a building and construction industry levy and a workplace health and safety levy.
“In 2014, the Newman Government made changes to the scheme, which have significantly compromised the financial viability of the scheme.”
The Newman LNP Government introduce a tiered levy structure with discounted rates for projects over $1 billion and no levy payable on projects over $5 billion. These changes excluded GST from the leviable cost and reduced the levy rate from 0.3% to 0.25%.
Ms Grace said the changes made by the previous Government had reduced the scheme by $91.3 million between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2018.
“The Government is proposing to restore the scheme to its former fairer structure, ensuring its longer-term financially sustainability,” she said.
“We want to hear from everyone who has been or will be affected by any changes to the scheme.”
Public comment is also being sought from industry stakeholders on support for a small increase in the workplace health and safety levy to enhance support for mental health and suicide prevention in the building and construction industry.
“Tragically, suicide rates in the building and construction industry are much higher than in other industries, particularly amongst younger workers who are two to three times more likely to take their own lives than other Australians,” Ms Grace said.
“In August 2018 the Palaszczuk Government announced additional funding of $1 million to help Mates in Construction expand its suicide prevention program to rural and remote areas of the state.
“A 0.005 per cent increase in the work health and safety levy would provide long-term funding certainty for suicide prevention and mental health programs in the construction industry at minimal cost.”
Feedback on the proposed changes and their impact can be submitted through the Office of Industrial Relations website (www.oir.qld.gov.au) or the Queensland Government’s Get Involved website (www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au).
Submissions should be made by close of business on Thursday 30 May 2019.
Media contact: Scott Chandler - 0439 578 472