What I See with Peter Fiorenza: The merits of work-life balance highlighted during long service leave

Peter FiorenzaGeraldton Guardian
Peter Fiorenza
Camera IconPeter Fiorenza Credit: Supplied

I am currently on LSL, otherwise known as long service leave.

LSL is an interesting concept and something that may disappear as our working habits continue to develop.

But have you ever wondered how it came about?

When you talk to people who have come to Australia from other countries to live, the concept of LSL is new. The idea of getting an extended holiday period, after working for one employer for a set time just doesn’t happen anywhere else.

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Actually, LSL only exists in Australia and New Zealand. Why is that?

Well, according to our good friends at Wikipedia, LSL is part of our colonial heritage, first granted to Victorian and South Australian public servants in the 1860s and later included in other parts of Australia.

It’s suggested that in a bid to keep employees, the public service allowed workers leave with pay after 10 years of good, continued employment.

I’m not for one minute saying that it is wrong to be ambitious, but remember although work is a big part of our lives, it is still just one part of our lives.

In time this was extended to the private sector and has remained enshrined in our work practices ever since.

Today, LSL is generally the result of 10 years uninterrupted employment with one employer.

After this time, employees are entitled to three months extra paid leave and this is something that won’t be changing for some time, but will we see it still used in the future?

There is no doubt work patterns are changing.

The type and nature of work in the 21st century suggests LSL may steadily become a thing of the past.

According to blog.au.indeed.com, up to 48 per cent of Australians employed have been in their role for less than two years.

The website’s statistics showed only 10 per cent of employees have been in their role for more than 10 years.

Mike Adamo, a “talent acquisition expert” writing an article for Linkedin.com, suggests there are some negative impacts of working in one place too long.

Adamo cites long-time employees as sometimes struggling to adapt and possibly becoming too pigeonholed in respect to drive and motivation.

He believes staying at one employer too long could become a risk down the track.

“For some folks, being a ‘lifer’ is just fine, however, it is important to realise the career limiting aspects of making this decision,” Adamo writes.

This is something, I reckon, that points to where we are all going wrong in respect to work.

Now, I’m not for one minute saying that it is wrong to be ambitious, but remember although work is a big part of our lives, it is still just one part of our lives.

For me, work is something that contributes to my overall lifestyle.

So don’t let the tail wag the dog.

While, I will miss some aspects of my job, I can tell you I’m going to enjoy every minute of my LSL.

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