Frequently asked questions

About the Scheme

What’s the portable long service leave levy?

The Building and Construction Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 1991 (the Act) ensures the provision of paid leave to workers for service to the building and construction industry.

The Portable Long Service Leave Scheme is funded by a levy imposed on the total cost, whether direct or indirect, of building and construction work in Queensland costing $150,000 or more (excluding GST).

What does ‘cost of building and construction work’ mean?

The cost of work is the total of all costs (excluding GST) that relate directly and indirectly to building and construction work.

This includes, but isn’t limited to, the value of all labour and materials to be used (including materials supplied by the owner), plant, equipment, design and project management.

You’ll find further details about what constitutes building and construction work and how costs are calculated here.

About notifying and paying

Is GST payable on the QLeave levy?

No. GST is not payable on the QLeave levy and does not need to be included when notifying the cost of work.

The cost of work has changed since work started, what do I need to do?

Sometimes, it’s hard to know what a project will cost in advance, so you may have had to provide an estimate for us to calculate the levy. If there’s a significant increase or decrease in the cost of work, notify us promptly. You’ll find the form you need to fill in here.

Who is liable to notify and pay?

You’re liable to notify us of building and construction work if you’re contracted to provide this work for someone else or if you’re carrying out this work for yourself. The liability to pay differs. Click here to find out more about who is liable to notify and pay.

I’ve been contracted to build a property for someone else and will be notifying and paying the levy on their behalf. Does this have an impact on the total cost of work I notify to QLeave?

If you‘re notifying and paying for the person for whom the work is done, the cost of work notified to us must be the amount they are paying. This includes any costs they may have incurred before you were engaged, indirect costs and the builder’s margin.

For example, if you’re a project builder who has been engaged by a new home buyer to build a house on their land, the cost of work is what it costs the buyer (the person for whom the work is done). So, if the buyer has paid $350,000 to you to build their house, you should notify this total amount to QLeave (excluding GST). If the buyer incurred costs before you were engaged (e.g. fees for site cleaning or materials they’ve supplied), please ask them to contact us to find out how they can notify these costs directly.

However, if you’re a developer who is building a house to hold or sell later, you are the person for whom the work is done. In this case the cost of work is what it costs you to build the house, and the margin is excluded.

For example, if you’re building a spec home in a new estate and it costs you $300,000 to build (including indirect costs), you need to notify a total cost of work of $300,000 to QLeave. As the home won’t be sold to a buyer until construction is completed, the margin is excluded because you are considered to be the person for whom the work is done.

When do I notify and pay?

You must notify us and pay the applicable levies:

  • prior to the issue of a development permit, OR
  • if no permit is given, before the work starts.

When you don’t pay the levies before building and construction work starts, interest accrues daily at the rate prescribed in the Taxation Administration Act 2001 for unpaid tax interest.

How do I notify and pay?

You can pay the Levy using the online form.

Find more information on paying the Levy here.

Can I pay the levies by instalments?

If the cost of work exceeds $10 million and will take longer than one year to complete, we may allow you to pay the levies by instalments. You can apply to pay by instalments when completing the notification and payment form.

Find out more about applying to pay by instalments.

What happens if the work doesn’t go ahead? Can I get a refund?

Yes. If a building application has been cancelled and/or work will not be carried out at this time, you need to make a written Levy Refund Application and provide your EFT details. You'll also need to provide supporting documentation.

Are there any exemptions to paying the levy?

There are a number of exemptions for Government, organisations not substantially engaged (NSE) in the building and construction industry, non-profit organisations and owner-builders. There are also some exemptions for work carried out on a mine site. Find the full list of exemptions here.

Other questions

I need to make changes to the building and construction work details provided to QLeave. What do I need to do?

You must submit your request for amendments to building and construction work details in writing to ensure the accuracy of our records. You can submit your request by email to or by completing the Changes to building and construction work form. Before you submit this form or email, read more about changed work details.

Who needs to sight a receipted notification and payment form? Why do they need to see it?

It’s a statutory requirement for the Assessment Manager (Local Government or Private Certifier - Class A) to sight a receipted Building and Construction Industry Notification and Payment form.

Can I request that QLeave reconsider the levy determined for my work?

Yes. Under s87 of the Building and Construction Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 1991, you can request that QLeave reconsider the levy determined for your work if you believe it is incorrect.

Find out more about requesting a reconsideration, including the applicable time frames and options available.