How do you get service credits in the scheme?

In the building and construction industry most workers do not work with one employer for long enough to be entitled to long service leave.

Credits in the portable long service scheme are accrued for days worked in the NSW building and construction industry. It doesn’t matter how many different employers you work for.

The maximum number of days credited in one year is 220. This takes into account public holidays, weekends, etc.

Part-time work, or full-time work for part of a year, are similarly calculated as equivalent days. When 220 days are accumulated this is then equivalent to one full year of service.

For employees, their long service records are updated regularly from notifications supplied by employers, either at the end of a financial year or when a worker's employment is terminated.

For contractors, records are updated from notifications supplied by their tax agent.

Updates may also occur at any time as a result of information provided by the registered worker in relation to missing service, periods of illness and other reasons that are included on this site.

To become eligible to receive a long service payment from the Corporation your service must be recorded.

How service is recorded by the Corporation is determined by your employment status.

If you are working as an Employee

Employees have their employment in the building and construction industry recorded by the Corporation from information provided by their employers.

Employers are required to register with the Corporation and then advise the Corporation any time they start and end workers' employment.

At the end of each financial year the Corporation will send employers a list of all workers that are registered as working for them. The employer must check this list and confirm this information. From this information the Corporation adds service to the worker's long service records.

Between October and early December the Corporation sends an Annual Statement to each registered worker that shows what service has been added to their record in the previous financial year. Workers should check their statements carefully and notify the Corporation of any omissions or mistakes.

Workers can also check their service and update their contact details online.

If you are a Contractor

Workers first need to determine if they are an employee of a business, or a contractor. To determine this, contact the ATO or FairWork for more information. If you are a partner in a partnership, a trustee or a working director, you may also be an employee or contractor.

Workers in the building and construction industry who are contractors and want to have service recorded for the purpose of claiming a long service payment must first register as a worker with the Corporation.

Once registered with the Corporation you need to have your tax agent lodge a Self Employed Worker Certificate of Service online at the end of each financial year. If you or your tax agent prefers to complete paper certificates, you can request certificates by calling our Helpline on 13 14 41.

There is no legal requirement for contractors to join the scheme or lodge Self Employed Worker Certificates of Service if they do not want to.

Calculating days credited for contractors

Credits for contractors are calculated differently to employees. The number of days credited is calculated from the assessable income the worker received from the building and construction work minus prescribed costs incurred in earning that income each financial year.

The prescribed costs are listed in the Regulations to the Building and Construction Industry Long Service Payments Act 1986.  When your tax agent lodges a Self Employed Worker Certificate of Service they are verifying that the particulars are as declared in the workers income Tax Return for the same period.

For more information and examples of prescribed costs or how service is calculated for contractors click on the links below.

Working directors employed by own company

Company directors who are performing eligible building and construction work can join the scheme.

Directors who do office work, such as clerical work or sales, are not eligible to record service as a worker.

Working directors who do eligible work for only part of their working time can get reduced credits in the scheme. Credits can be recorded for each day on which four or more hours are spent by the working director carrying out building and construction work.

A working director has to register twice. They have to register their company as an employer, and register themselves as a worker.

Recognition of past work

Sometimes employers do not lodge service records for their employees. The employer may forget to do it or may cease trading without finalising their obligations. Workers often do not realise that an employer has not done the right thing until they receive their Annual Statement of Recorded Service from the Corporation.

In these cases it is not always possible to obtain service records from an employer. Sometimes the employer cannot be located, has ceased trading or is in liquidation.

When this happens it may still be possible for a worker to have credits allocated to their record. If the worker can provide documents showing the name of their employer and what type of work they carried out, the Corporation may be able to grant service credits for the period involved.

Acceptable documents are:

  • Tax payment summaries
  • Employment separation certificate
  • Letter of offer of employment or service reference by the employer concerned confirming employment on wages, the type of building and construction work performed and specifying employment details
  • Apprenticeship indenture papers
  • Document from a superannuation scheme showing records of contributions
  • Workers' compensation papers
  • Pay slips

NOTE: Please cross out your tax file number when providing proof of employment.

The documents should be accompanied by a statutory declaration, which is on a form available from the Corporation.

The extent of documentation required depends on the particular situation of the worker and when the work was performed. In some cases where the work was performed not more than two years ago, tax payment summaries and a statutory declaration may be sufficient for the Corporation to investigate the service.

Where the work was performed more than two years ago the Corporation may still investigate the situation if there are some special circumstances to warrant that action.

For more information read the information sheets:

Lack of knowledge of the scheme and its requirements are on their own not acceptable circumstances and the Corporation would not investigate missing service more than two years ago based on this circumstance.

Employer not trading

Sometimes when an employer ceases trading, service records are not lodged before the business is wound up. When this happens, if the worker can provide documents showing who they worked for and what type of work they did, the Corporation can grant service credits for the period involved.

The documents required are:

  • Copies of Tax Payment Summaries, issued by the employer concerned; and
  • A statutory declaration, on a form available from the Corporation, or which can be downloaded from this page.

Accepting long service payments from employers ceasing trading

If you are offered a long service entitlement as part of a termination payment by a liquidator we recommend you first check with us before accepting this payment.

Sometimes payments offered by the liquidators are less than your full entitlement.

Also note the following:

  • A top-up of the employer part paid benefit to what the worker should have received is possible from the Corporation only if the worker was eligible to make a claim for a long service payment from the Corporation at the time they accepted the employer part paid benefit. This top-up payment must be applied for within three months of taking the alternative benefit from the employer.
  • If the worker is not entitled to make a claim for a long service payment from the Corporation then those years for which a worker receives any long service benefit from an employer cannot be claimed as part of the total service of the worker at any time in future. In this situation the worker needs to make sure that the amount received from the employer exceeds the amount which could be claimed from the Corporation in future when eligibility for a claim is reached.

For more information:

Missing work from your record?  Read this document

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