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The Long Service Act Bill has just passed the Legislative Council, ensuring it will become law in Victoria.

What does this mean for Victorian women?

The changes to the Long Service Leave Act now mean that any period of paid parental leave and up to 12 months of unpaid parental leave will count as service. No amount of parental leave will break the continuity of service.

The laws will also allow workers to apply for long service leave after seven years’ service, instead of after 10 years.

In the past, the Long Service Leave Act treated parental leave less favourably than all other forms of leave. If an employee took more than 12 months of unpaid parental leave, they lost continuity of service and any accrued long service leave entitlements.

“The new Long Service Leave laws are a huge win for women, parents, and carers across Victoria,” Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins said.

“No one should be penalised for spending more time at home when their kids are born, or for changing their working hours to look after a loved one,” Hutchins added.

These unfair and outdated laws disproportionately affected women who often take on caring responsibilities and penalised parents for spending more time at home when their kids were born.

The new laws will come into effect before early November this year.

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