Portable long service in the community services sector

Slot game Information for businesses employing community services workers and how portable long service applies.

Young people using an ipad outdoors
Young people using an ipad outdoors

Guidance note released to assist predominance test for community services

Guidance Note 1 assists registered employers in the community services sector to better understand the predominance test. 


What is community services work?

Under the Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme (the scheme), the community services sector is where community services work is undertaken that provides training and employment, financial, accommodation, home care and other support for people with a disability or people who are otherwise vulnerable, disadvantaged or in crisis. 

This can include community legal, education and advocacy services; community development services; fundraising assistance for community groups and services to assist cultural and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. 

Slot gameFrom 1 October 2020, this also includes services that support, supervise or manage the provision of any of the services referred to in regulation 8 of the .

NDIS and children’s services

Slot gameOn and from 1 January 2020 an activity funded by the NDIS, as well as services provided by licensed children's services and approved providers under the Education and Care Services National Law, are included in the scheme as community services work.

From 1 October 2020, an entity for profit that is an approved children's service is not an employer for the Scheme.

What is not community services work?

Slot gameHealth services (as defined in section 3(1) of the Health Services Act 1988) and residential aged care are not classified as community services work for the scheme. 

Who is a community services employer?

Slot gameVictorian employers in the community services sector must register with the Portable Long Service Authority if they are:

  • a non-profit entity employing at least one person to perform community services work
  • an entity for profit that employs at least one person to perform community services work for people with a disability. 
  • registered Community Health Centres, some organisations will be required to register from 1 July 2019 and complete reporting obligations for any workers meeting the worker predominance test set out in the Interim Regulations 2019. The predominance test applies for workers from 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2020, and the Modern awards test applies from 1 October 2020. 
  • Women's Health services

Learn more about employer obligations

Who is not an employer?

The following are not employers for the scheme, even if they have workers performing community services work:

  • federal or state government departments or agencies
  • local governments or other public statutory bodies
  • entities with a governing body appointed under and Act of the Commonwealth or the State
  • a public health service or a public hospital and aged care services operated by hospitals
  • bush nursing centres

Who is a community services worker?

To be eligible for portable long service in the community services sector, workers must be:

  • employed by an employer for the Scheme as outlined earlier
  • from 1 October 2020 covered by one of the awards included in  (see below)
  • providing community service work

Slot gameWorkers with agreements underpinned by, or under the following awards are eligible for the Scheme:

  • the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010
  • the Children's Services Award 2010
  • the Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2010
  • the Labour Market Assistance Industry Award 2020
  • the Supported Employment Services Award 2020

Workers for the community services sector can be employed on a full-time, part-time or casual basis.

Learn more about worker entitlements

Employer obligations

Registered employers must submit quarterly returns to the Authority in October, January, April and July each year. 

Slot gameQuarterly returns are completed through the employer portal and employers will need to provide details for all eligible workers during the reporting period, including:

  • the hours worked and ordinary pay received by each worker
  • any long service leave taken by a worker
  • workers who stopped working for the business

Based on this information, a levy will be calculated that employers must pay. This levy will cover the cost of future portable long service claims by eligible workers.

Learn more about quarterly returns

Case studies and examples

Reviewed 04 December 2020