January 7, 2019

How long service leave pay is calculated in New South Wales

How long service leave pay is calculated in New South Wales

Updated: 8 December 2019

In New South Wales employees are paid long service leave after 10 years of service with the same employer and are paid for each additional 5 years service.

Long service leave cannot be paid out. It’s only paid on termination.

In a hurry? Jump ahead.

Pro rata long service leave

Employees can get a pro rata of their long service leave payout after 5 years of service, if:

  • there is a dismissal for any reason other than serious misconduct; or
  • the employee resigns because of illness, incapacity, domestic or pressing necessity.


The calculation (regardless of whether the employee leaves before or after 10 years service), is the higher of:

  • Pay for the last pay period up to the leave being taken; or
  • Average weekly gross ordinary rate of pay during the past 5 years.

Calculation for casuals 

For casuals, long service leave pay is the higher of:

  • The average normal weekly number of hours during the past period of 12 months; or
  • Past 5 years.

Piece workers or commission-only workers 

Here's the long service leave pay calculation for piece workers or commission-only workers:

  • The average weekly ordinary rate of pay during the past 12 months; or
  • The average weekly ordinary rate of pay during the past 5 years.
  • An average of bonuses and commissions over the past 12 months (or average over 5 years if that rate is used) and is in addition to the weekly rate.

Items not in the calculation:

  • Shift work; and
  • Other penalty rates; and
  • Overtime payments; and
  • Bonuses paid to workers that are otherwise paid more than $145,400 per year.


Allowances that are relate to skills (leading hand, site allowance, first aid) will count as ordinary pay.  

Parental leave

Parental leave does not count towards continuous service.

Business sale 

The employee's service is not broken and their long service leave entitlement accrues in a business sale.

There are also helpful online calculators like this one that you can use to calculate a long service leave payout. 

Do you have comments or questions about long service leave? leave them below. 

About the author 

Vivian Michael

As founder and lawyer at Michael Law Group, Vivian advises Australia's top entrepreneurs on business and employment matters. Clients benefit from Vivian's commercially focussed and pragmatic legal advice, business experience, and commitment to deliver the best quality business legal services to her clients.

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