Resignation and long service leave payments in New South Wales

By Vivian Michael | Employment

Resignation and long service leave payments in New South Wales

Photo credit: Andrew Neel, Unsplash

If an employee resigns, they may have a right to a long service leave payment in New South Wales.


This article deals with employees in New South Wales only and you should always get legal advice if you are unsure what to do.

Below are the rules for a payout of long service in the case of a resignation.

If the employee resigns after 5 years service, pro rata long service leave is paid out per section 4(2)(a)(iii) of the Long Service Leave Act 1955 (NSW), if the resignation is because of:

  • Illness; or
  • Incapacity; or
  • Domestic or pressing necessity.

And the employee will need to include the above reason in their written resignation.

Employee claims

It’s important to be fair in all your dealings with employees. Employees can apply to the court for unpaid long service leave and the court may make an order for the employer to pay this amount.

If an application is made, the court may make any order it thinks is just and may award costs to either party.


Now, if there is a dispute that ends up in court the tests below from Computer Sciences of Australia v Leslie 1983 will apply:

  1. Is the reason within the exceptions in section 4(2)(a)(iii) above?
  2. Was the reason genuinely held by the employee?
  3. Was it the real and motivating reason? (it does not have to be the sole reason)
  4. Would a reasonable person in that employee’s position feel compelled to terminate their employment for that reason also?

Do you have a long service leave question?


About the Author

Vivian Michael is a lawyer and founder of Michael Law Group. Vivian's mission is to make quality business legal services accessible to entrepreneurs launching in Australia that would otherwise DIY, rely on legacy contracts or go without.

Leave a Comment:

Leave a Comment: