Labour hire agency fined $15,500 for failing to pay long service leave entitlements

Wage Inspectorate Victoria

A labour hire agency has been fined $15,500 without conviction in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court after failing to pay casual workers their long service leave entitlements, despite them completing at least 7 years’ service.

Allstaff Australia RJE Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to pay 5 casual employees more than $32,000 in outstanding long service leave entitlements on the day their employment ended.

Individual underpayments ranged from $5,176 to $7,460, with some employees not receiving the money they were owed for over two years after their employment ended.

Wage Inspectorate Victoria began an investigation into Allstaff Australia RJE in November 2021 after receiving reports from former employees alleging their long service leave entitlements had not been paid.

The workers were employed by Allstaff Australia RJE then placed in various casual warehousing roles in other businesses, such as packer, store person and warehouse hand.

In Victoria, an employee must receive payment of any untaken long service leave on the day their employment ends. This also applies to casual, part-time, and seasonal employees.

The offences took place between 7 April 2019 and 20 December 2021.

In sentencing, his Honour Magistrate Sonnert noted that had it not been for the early guilty plea, he would have imposed a fine of $30,000.

Quotes attributable to Robert Hortle, Commissioner of Wage Inspectorate Victoria

“These employees were denied thousands of dollars in entitlements, some for over 2 years, which is unacceptable. This money could have been a crucial lifeline to help people meet living costs while they looked for a new job.”

“For labour hire businesses, your employees may be out of sight, but their entitlements cannot be out of mind. You can outsource your workers, but not their entitlements.”

“This case highlights a poorly understood element of Victoria’s long service leave laws – casual employees with 7 years of service are entitled to long service leave. In fact, even seasonal staff can be entitled to long service leave if they have worked for the company long enough.”

Background on Victoria’s Long Service Leave Act

The Long Service Leave Act 2018 is a Victorian law that provides long service leave for employees who have worked continuously with one employer for at least 7 years. It applies to work that is:

  • full time
  • part time
  • casual
  • seasonal
  • fixed term.

After at least 7 years’ continuous employment with one employer, an employee is entitled to take their long service leave and be paid any unused long service leave entitlement when their employment ends.

Most Victorian employees will be covered by and entitled to long service leave in accordance with the Act, unless they have a long service leave entitlement from another source, such as under other legislation, a registered agreement, award or another law.

/Public Release.