What is the LeavePlus Scheme?

LeavePlus (fomerly Co-Invest): The Construction Industry's Portable Long Service Leave Scheme


The LeavePlus Scheme is a scheme that provides employees and contractors in the construction industry in Victoria with portable long service leave. Prior to 14 August 2023, it was called "Co-Invest".

If you are an employer with employees carrying out:

  • construction
  • electrical trades
  • metal trades
  • landscape gardening
  • shop fitting, or
  • floor covering work,

there is a reasonable chance that you need to be making LeavePlus contributions on behalf or your employees.

How the LeavePlus Scheme works

Ordinarily, an employee is entitled to receive long service leave after seven years continuous service with one employer. It is different for employees who work in the construction industry, for whom the special LeavePlus Portable Long Service Leave Scheme applies.

Under this scheme, employers employing people to carry out construction work in the construction industry must make contributions to the LeavePlus scheme on behalf of their employees. These employees accrue a right to long service leave after seven years working in the construction industry, even if they work for different employers. After completing seven years of continuous service, it is LeavePlus, not the employee's current employer, who will pay the employee when they take long service leave.

The rationale behind the LeavePlus scheme is that employees in the construction industry frequently change employers due to the nature of the industry. Accordingly, these employees would be disadvantaged compared to employees in other industries if they had to work seven continuous years with one employer to obtain long service leave.

What is the Construction Industry?

Confusingly, the 'construction industry', for the purpose of the LeavePlus scheme, is defined much more broadly than the common usage of the phrase would suggest. Under the LeavePlus scheme, the construction industry comprises the following sectors:

  • Building and Construction;
  • Electrical Services;
  • Floor Covering Services;
  • Industrial Machinery or Equipment Services;
  • Landscape Gardening;
  • Metal Trades;
  • Non-Destructive Testing Services;
  • Parquetry Floor Laying;
  • Shopfitting; and
  • Watering System Services.

To whom does the LeavePlus scheme apply?

For an employee to be covered by the LeavePlus scheme, they must be carrying out Construction Work. Construction Work is defined in the LeavePlus Rules to include work that is:

  1. Performed in the Construction Industry (see above); and
  2. Which is Building Trades Work, Electrical Trades Work, MetalTrades Work or Other Trades Work.

The LeavePlus Rules provide detailed definitions of what constitutes trades work. If you think your employees may be carrying out trades work within the construction industry, then you should review the LeavePlus Rules to determine whether your employees must be covered by the LeavePlus scheme.

What you are required to do?

Employers who have employees in the construction industry are required to make contributions to the LeavePlus Scheme.

The current contribution rate for each employer is 2.7% of the total gross wages that you pay to all of your employees covered by the Scheme for each quarter.

How can Sharrock Pitman Legal assist?

For employees

If you are an employee and have any queries regarding your LeavePlus leave entitlements, please visit LeavePlus, where they detail how to lodge your claim. If you have any issues with LeavePlus, or you would like legal advice on your claim, please do not hesitate to our Accredited Specialist (Workplace Relations) team.

For employers

The LeavePlus Scheme is complex and we find that employers are often unsure whether their employees are covered by the Scheme. If you are unsure whether you are required to make LeavePlus contributions on behalf of your employees, then please do not hesitate to call Samuel Ellemor, Accredited Specialist (Workplace Relations).

For further information contact  
Samuel Ellemor

Samuel Ellemor is a Senior Associate and Accredited Specialist in Workplace Relations Law, with expertise assisting individuals, businesses and not-for-profit organisations across a broad range of employment, commercial and not-for-profit matters. Samuel can be contacted directly on (03) 8561 3316 or by email, samuel@sharrockpitman.com.au.

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