Long service leave payout upon termination of employment – what you need to know

Employees are entitled to take pro-rata long service leave after seven years’ continuous service.

Please note, this does not entitle you to a cash payout of long service after seven years’ continuous service. You are entitled to a cash payment upon termination of employment, as follows.

  • Resignation - if you have completed 10 years’ continuous service. 
  • Resignation (due to domestic or other pressing necessity) - you are entitled to a proportionate payment if you have seven years’ continuous service. It is preferable to make application before resignation. 
  • Resignation (due to ill-health or incapacity that does not qualify for ill-health retirement) - you are entitled to a proportionate payment if you have seven years’ continuous service. 
  • Age retirement - you are entitled to a payment after five years’ continuous service. 
  • Ill-health retirement - if you are ill-health retired as per Part 7 “Mental or physical incapacity”, Section 174 of the Public Service Act 2008, you are entitled to a payment after five years’ continuous service. 
  • Death - a payment will be made to your personal representative if you have had five years’ continuous service. 

NB: No cash payout of long service leave entitlements is payable for service of less than 10 years if you are dismissed for unsatisfactory conduct, capacity or performance.

Separation of employment – timelines for terminating your employment with DET

Permanent employees can cease employment with the department by providing two weeks’ written notice.

Temporary employees can terminate an engagement by providing written notice of one week (for those engaged with the department for less than one year). Those who have service with the department that is longer than one year should provide two weeks’ written notice.

The department is lawfully able to terminate a temporary teaching engagement, but certain conditions must be met, for example, a temporary teacher who is performing at an unsatisfactory standard should be informed of the performance issues and given an opportunity to improve his/her performance.

The department does not specify a notice period for such terminations and provides the following information for temporary teachers: “Before an employee can be terminated, Workforce Review Unit must be contacted on telephone (07) 3513 6520.”

Members who believe their contract/temporary engagement may have been terminated inappropriately should contact the QTU for advice.

Who is your “immediate family”?

Sadly, the QTU sometimes receives calls from members experiencing difficulty accessing bereavement leave because someone (often the BSM) has decided that the loss isn’t of someone they determine to be “immediate family”. Clearly, when you are grieving this is the last thing you need. The QTU was made aware of a case of a woman who was due to deliver a eulogy, but was not provided with bereavement leave. The poor management of her leave compounded her stress, unforgivably.

The current directive expressly states that “immediate” family is inclusive of:

  • the employee’s spouse
  • a child, ex-nuptial child, step-child, adopted child, ex-foster child of the employee or employee's spouse
  • parent, grandparent, grandchild, sister or brother of the employee and of the employee’s spouse (such as the employee’s mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparent-in-law, brother-in-law, sister in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law).

And, importantly, the directive reads:

“The list of family members provided for in this definition is not exhaustive. Agencies have the discretion to grant bereavement leave to employees on the death of family members that are not expressly provided for in this definition. Cultural and personal reasons maybe taken into consideration when an agency makes a decision.”

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 122 No 4, 2 June 2017, p29