LOW-PAID workers have seized upon the opportunity to sign up for portable long service entitlements, accruing $150 million in funds with a Bendigo-based government authority in the past two and a half years.
Cleaners, security guards and community service workers, who often have little job security, have been able to register with the Portable Long Service Authority which collects money from employers.
Workers in those sectors are often employed on short term contracts by multiple companies.
United Workers Union national director of property services Lyndal Ryan said the scheme had created a security net for vulnerable workers.
"These workers were consistently missing out on fair entitlements," she said.
"Cleaning and security companies can open and shut and some will actually go into liquidation owing worker entitlements.
"But this means that at least some of their entitlements are secure because the money isn't being held by those businesses."
Victorian Industrial Relations Minister Tim Pallas said the establishment of the Portable Long Service Authority represented a landmark reform when it opened in 2019.
There have been 200,000 registrations for the scheme in a little over 30 months.
Employer contributions of 1.65 1.80 per cent of a worker's wage are invested by the scheme with the Victorian Funds Management Corporation.
Mr Pallas said two out of three members of the scheme were women, who were traditionally over-represented in low-paid jobs with limited long-term security.
About two thirds of the people registered with the Portable Long Service Authority work in the community services sector in roles such as family violence prevention, disability support, accommodation services and home care, and in providing support for cultural and linguistically diverse communities.
There were 48,000 contract cleaners and about 23,000 security workers signed up for the scheme.
Mr Pallas said workers could claim long service leave entitlements once they completed seven years of service after joining the scheme.
"It doesn't affect a worker's right to traditional long service leave," he said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.