Frequently asked questions

About the Scheme

What is QLeave?

The Contract Cleaning Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 2005 (the Act) provides a fair and efficient system of long service leave payments for workers in the Queensland contract cleaning industry.

Payments are based on service to the industry rather than ten years’ service to one employer.

Can I claim back long service leave payments that I made to my employee?

Yes. The legislation provides for reimbursement payments to employers relative to the data they've submitted to the scheme since the commencement date of 1 July 2005. We calculate the payment in accordance with the legislation and base it on the wages declared for the individual worker. You must make an application for reimbursement within three months of the date you paid leave to the worker. Click here to read more about making a claim.

About registration

How can I obtain copies of the forms I need to register workers?

You can register a worker online when completing your quarterly employer return. Alternatively, you can contact QLeave for more information.

In the future, I'll be engaging only casual staff to work a few days here and there. With no permanent staff, do I still need to stay registered as an employer?

Yes. If you engage a new worker for more than four days in a return period, you must include the worker on your return and pay the corresponding levy.

If I cease to be an employer in the industry, how do I cancel my registration?

To ensure your registration is cancelled you need to do the following:

  1. Complete your final return and make payment as normal. Make sure you complete the ‘Date Terminated’ box for all workers giving the last date each of your workers was engaged.
  2. On the online services employer home page, click on the button 'Cancel my registration' to send an email request to cancel your employer registration or if providing a paper return, tick the ‘Cancel Registration’ box on Section C to apply for cancellation.

About employer returns, wages and levies

On my last return, I ticked the 'Cancel Registration' box, but I've now received another set of returns. Why hasn't my registration been cancelled?

Crossing this box advises us that you are applying for cancellation. For us to process the cancellation, you must also provide the 'Date Terminated' for all eligible workers or eligible subcontractors to perform cleaning work. Once we receive this notification, we'll cancel your registration.

Please note: If you cancel your registration yet still engage eligible workers or subcontractors, you'll be required to pay any back levies and applicable penalties. You may also be subject to prosecution for breach of the Contract Cleaning Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 2005.

If I’m still engaging workers (that is, they’re still ‘on the books’), but they didn’t earn any wages during a particular return period, do I still need to submit an Employer Return?

Yes. You must always submit a return if you have eligible workers, even if they haven’t worked during a quarter. Submit the return by the due date and show zero dollars have been paid (a 'NIL' return).

What options are available to pay the levy?

You can make your payment in the following ways:

Click here to find out more about making payments.

Do I have to pay the levy on annual leave payments, leave loading and termination payments?

Yes and No. Yes - Under the Act, over-award payments, weekend and public holiday penalty rates, most allowances and holiday pay are included in the definition of 'ordinary wages'. No - An employer does not pay a levy on termination pay or leave loading.

How do I calculate the levy for a subcontractor when their invoices include GST and minor materials?

The levy is calculated at 0.75% of the labour component of the invoice, excluding the cost of minor materials and GST.

How is the levy rate determined?

The levy rate is actuarially assessed. From 1 July 2005 to 31 December 2012, the levy rate was 2% of ordinary wages. The Board must appoint an Actuary at least every 2 years to investigate the adequacy of the levy rate among other things. The actuary undertakes an investigation using a set of specific formulae based on the results of industry study which include identification of the number of employers, the number of workers, ordinary wages, how many workers might be eligible to claim a long service leave entitlement and other factors. After the Board receives the actuary's report it makes a recommendation to the Minister. The Queensland Government then determines a suitable levy rate based on the Board's recommendation(s).

In response to actuarial advice indicating that the Scheme is in a sound financial position, the levy rate has been reduced for service accrued during the following periods:

  1. 2% 1 July 2005 - 31 Dec 2012
  2. 1.7% 1 January 2013 - 30 June 2015
  3. 1.3% 1 July 2015 - 30 June 2016
  4. 1% from 1 July 2016
  5. 0.75% from 1 July 2018.

About your workers

One of my workers believes their annual statement may not be correct. What do I need to do?

In September each year, we provide annual Long Service Leave Statements to all registered workers who have accrued service in the previous financial year. If a worker queries the dates or declared wages, we ask that you check your records to ensure that the data supplied for the worker is correct. Following this, either advise QLeave of the amended data or explain why there's a difference to the worker.

If a worker contacts QLeave directly about an error on their Long Service Leave Statement for either missing service (days) or gross wages earned, they're advised to submit a missing service application along with evidence of a group certificate or payslips. Upon receipt of a missing service request, QLeave will normally clarify information from you about your worker. This process could involve conducting an inspection of your books and records to check the returns and levy for the period in question are accurate.

How does an employer register a new worker in the middle of a return period?

An employer’s new worker should complete a Worker Application Form and return it to QLeave. Submit all details on Section B of the quarterly return for the period the worker commenced.

My worker has told me they've changed their name or address. How do they notify QLeave?

Workers wanting to change their name with the Scheme, for reasons such as marriage, divorce or a change by deed poll, should advise us in writing of the change, and submit a copy of their relevant paperwork (i.e. marriage certificate or divorce paper) as proof. Similarly, they should advise of any change of address.

When we approach updates in this way, we minimise the chance of duplicate records for workers and ensure worker's service accrues correctly.

I sometimes find it difficult to obtain the birth dates and addresses of my casual workers. Do I have to provide this information for every worker?

Yes. While we appreciate that some workers don't want to give their details and you may feel uncomfortable on insisting, the Contract Cleaning Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 2005 requires you to provide this information. This data is crucial to ensuring that we allocate long service leave credits to the correct worker.

If one of my workers will be retiring within the next year, do I still have to pay the long service leave levy on his wages?

Regardless of the age of the workers, or the amount of time you believe they'll be working in the industry, you must pay the levy on your workers’ ordinary wage.

I employ my son over the school holidays just to give him a bit of pocket money, do I need to include him on my Employer Return?

Yes. You must declare wages for all workers who work more than four days in a return period.

I only engage subcontractors, casuals, and individuals on temporary work visas. Do I need to submit an Employer Return for these workers?

Individuals who are engaged to perform contract cleaning work in a return period, on a casual or subcontract basis, are likely to be eligible workers (even if they're on temporary work visas). Therefore, you should include these workers on your Employer Return. Only new workers who work less than four days, during the return period, may be excluded from your Employer Return.

My current employees don’t expect to stay in the cleaning industry for an extended period and probably won’t be in the scheme long enough to get a long service leave entitlement. Can I exclude them from the Scheme?

No. Employers are required to pay the 0.75% levy on their workers’ ordinary wages even if those workers believe they may not stay in the industry long enough to benefit. Because of the portability of the scheme, members can have breaks from the industry of up to four years without having their membership cancelled.

About penalties

How much is a penalty unit?

As at 1 July 2021, the penalty unit is $137.85.

I have received an invoice for $276 for failing to submit my Quarterly Return and Levy payment on time. If I have a good reason for being late, is it possible to have the penalty waived?

If the events that delayed submission of your return and/or levy payment are strange or unusual, special circumstances may exist. You must provide your explanation in writing to QLeave. If, after considering all the available information, your circumstances are found to be special, we may waive the penalty. Please note that forgetting or being away on holidays doesn't constitute special circumstances.

I have received an invoice for $552 for failing to submit my quarterly Return and levy payment on time. Why did this happen?

Employers that have incurred penalties during the past four return periods (12 months) prior to the current return period will incur double penalties if this latest return is late and/or payment of the levy is late, i.e. not received by the due date. There's a $276 penalty for non-submission of the return and/or a $276 penalty for non-payment of the levy, incurring an additional $552 for each month the levy and payment are outstanding. Note: The $552 penalty will be added for each month the return and levy are outstanding, i.e. $1,656 per quarter.

Click here to find out more about penalties.