The Fair Work Act was amended on 26 March 2021 to change workplace rights and obligations for casual employees. The changes came into effect on 27 March 2021.
These changes include:
- The definition of casual employment
- The Casual Employment Information Statement
- The pathway for casuals to move to permanent employment
The employer obligations around casual conversion differ depending on whether you are a small business (<15 employees) or not.
This article covers the new definition of casual employment.
Definition of a casual employee
A person is a casual employee if they accept an offer for a job from an employer knowing that there is no firm advance commitment to ongoing work with an agreed pattern of work.
A person is a casual employee if:
- they are offered a job
- the offer does not include a firm advance commitment that the work will continue indefinitely with an agreed pattern of work
- they accept the offer knowing that there is no firm advance commitment and become an employee
Meaning of “does not include a firm advance commitment”
To work out if the employer’s offer does not include a firm advance commitment, consider whether:
- the employer can choose to offer the employee hours of work and it is the employee’s choice to work or not
- the employee will be offered hours of work when the business needs them to work
- the employment is described as casual
- the employee is paid a casual loading or a specific rate of pay for casual employees
An employee whose roster changes from week to week, is only called in when needed, and can accept, refuse or swap shifts, is likely to be a casual.
How is a casual different to full-time and part-time?
Full-time and part-time employees have an advance commitment to ongoing employment. They can expect to work regular hours each week. They are also entitled to paid leave and and must give or receive notice to end the employment.
Contact me for a no-obligation chat if you need help with employee types or your obligations around casual conversion.
Principal Consultant - Concept HR Services
We work with small and medium sized businesses to provide personalised, and commercially viable, HR solutions to meet your specific business needs.
Our solutions, support and advice is tailored to your business and people needs rather than providing "off-the-shelf" products. We aim to build strong, long lasting customer relationships with local business owners and their teams.
Tracy has 25+ years HR generalist experience working in both the Corporate and SME sectors.