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Changes to casual employment

Casual worker
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The Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) was amended to change workplace rights and obligations for casual employees and the changes came into effect on Saturday 27 March 2021.

What’s changed?

The Amendment Act introduces a:

What is a Casual Employment Information Statement?

Employers will have to give every new casual employee a Casual Employment Information Statement (the CEIS) before, or as soon as possible after, they start their new job. All small businesses with existing casual employees will need to be given a copy of the CEIS as soon as possible and other employers have to give their existing casual employees a copy of the CEIS as soon as possible after 27 September 2021.

For more information go to Casual Employment Information Statement.

Updated definition of a casual employee

The Fair Work Act has been amended to include a new definition of a casual employee.

Under the new definition, a person is a casual employee if they accept a job offer from an employer knowing that there is no firm advance commitment to ongoing work with an agreed pattern of work. Once employed as a casual, an employee will continue to be a casual employee until they either:

  • become a permanent employee through:
    • casual conversion, or
    • are offered and accept the offer of full-time or part-time employment, or
  • stop being employed by the employer.

Existing casual employees

Casuals who were employed immediately before 27 March 2021 and whose initial employment offer meets the new definition continue to be casual employees under the Fair Work Act.

Becoming a permanent employee

The Amendment Act now gives casual employees a pathway to become a full-time or part-time (permanent) employee.

An employer with 15 or more employees has to offer their casual employee to convert to full-time or part-time (permanent) when the employee:

  • has worked for their employer for 12 months
  • has worked a regular pattern of hours for at least the last 6 of those months on an ongoing basis
  • could continue working those hours as a permanent employee without significant changes.

Exemptions to this include:

  • small business employers (less than 15 employees)
  • if an employer has ‘reasonable grounds’ not to make an offer to a casual employee for casual conversion.

Making and responding to offers and requests

There are rules for how employers and employees need to make and respond to offers. There are also rules for offering casual conversion to existing casual employees.

Casual employees have a right to request to convert to full-time or part-time (permanent) employment in some circumstances. This applies:

  • for casual employees working for a small business – at any time if they meet the requirements
  • for other casual employees – after their employer has decided not to make an offer for casual conversion.

For more information on the Fair Work changes – https://www.fairwork.gov.au/employee-entitlements/national-employment-standards/casual-employment-information-statement

If you have casual employees and unsure what you need to do please contact us.

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