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Pay and Conditions

ADF Member's Guide

Long service leave

After you've served in the ADF for 10 years or more, you may get long service leave. This means you can take a longer period of leave with pay. This leave is in addition to your annual leave.

Who can get long service leave?

You may get long service leave if you are a member of the:

  • Permanent Forces
  • Reserves on continuous full-time service, or
  • Reserves on reserve service

How much long service leave do I get?

You get three month's leave credit after 10 years' accrued service. After that, you get nine days' leave credit for each further year of accrued service.

Full-time and part-time service counts towards the 10 years.

It doesn’t count towards your long service leave if you are:

  • absent without leave for more than one day, or
  • on leave without pay for more than three months.

If you are on leave without pay for illness or under the Defence (Parliamentary Candidates) Act 1969, this may count towards long service leave.

You may be able to count service in previous jobs and the Reserve service towards your ADF long service leave. This depends on whether the:

  • other employer is a government body in Australia, and
  • gap before joining the ADF is no more than a year.

How long can I take long service leave for?

You can get long service leave for a minimum period of 15 days. You may be able to get a shorter period in some circumstances.

You may take long service leave at full or half pay. Half pay long service leave uses up the leave credits half as fast, so the leave lasts twice as long.

You can't break long service leave with other leave. You must be on duty for at least two weeks between two periods of long service leave.

When you use your long service leave, you should count calendar days, including weekends and public holidays, rather than work days.

You should check how much notice is required before you can take long service leave, particularly just before you leave the ADF.

How do I get paid for long service leave?

You will be paid long service leave at your substantive rank and (if applicable) your pay grade. You may be paid an acting or temporary rank rate in some circumstances.

You may get paid other allowances during long service leave.

If you take leave at half pay, you get half the amount of salary and any allowances.

What happens to my long service leave if I cease continuous full-time service?

When you cease continuous full-time service or leave the ADF, you may choose to:

  • transfer your unused long service leave credits, or
  • get paid for any unused long service leave credits.

If you resign before 10 years' service you won't get long service leave paid out. Some government employers may recognise your ADF service and carry it over. Check with your new employer if they recognise your long service leave.

You have to nominate in writing to transfer your long service leave 30 days before you leave continuous full-time service.

You may get pro rata payment for long service leave if you:

  • are made redundant
  • are retrenched
  • are ill
  • die
  • have reached compulsory retirement age, or
  • are retired early by management.

You have to have at least one year of service to qualify.

Can I get long service leave re-credited?

You may get long service leave re-credited if you are:

  • admitted to hospital for at least one full day
  • unfit for duty for a full day and have a medicate certificate from an ADF medical officer, or
  • recalled to duty for service reasons.

What happens if I’m on part-time leave without pay?

You may be on part-time leave without pay when you apply for long service leave. Your part-time leave without pay stops for however long you’re on long service leave.

Your long service leave is paid on your full-time salary.

Can I accrue long service leave for prior Reserve service or other service?

If your Reserve service day was for 6 hours or more, you may accrue long service leave. 30 days of Reserve service counts as one month of service.

Any long service leave credit may be reduced by:

  • long service leave taken during prior service, and/or
  • long service payment taken during prior service.

If you have part-time service with 2 employers at the same time, you add the weekly hours to determine service for long service leave.

Part-time service needs to be converted to a full-time equivalent.

More information about long service leave can be found in Chapter 5 Part 5.

Important information

As the name suggests, this Member's Guide is designed as a guide to help you understand how your pay and conditions work. It is not a legal document. Therefore, if there is any conflict between the Member's Guide and Defence Determination 2016/19, Conditions of Service (and the Determinations made by the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal), as compiled in PACMAN, PACMAN is the authority.

This Member's Guide does not incorporate or make provision for members on a flexible service determination.

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Who do I contact

Defence Service Centre

1800 DEFENCE (1800 333 362)

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