Casual Employment

Articles Written by Ruveni Kelleher (Partner), Katelyn Iacono (Associate)
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In 2021, the Federal Government passed legislation which redefined the concept of casual employment and introduced a statutory right for casual workers to be offered conversion to permanent employment.

Under the reforms, a person is a casual employee if the employee accepts an offer of employment that “makes no firm advance commitment to continuing and indefinite work according to an agreed pattern of work for the person.” Importantly, whether a person is a casual employee will be assessed at the time the engagement is entered into and is not based on “any subsequent conduct of the parties”.

Further, an employer must make a written offer to casual workers to convert to a permanent role if the employee:

  • has worked for the employer for a period of 12 months; and
  • has worked a regular pattern of hours on an on-going basis for the previous six months which the employee could continue to work as a full-time or part-time employee (whichever is applicable), without significant adjustment.

If an employee is offered employment on the basis that there is no firm advance commitment to continuing and indefinite work, based on an agreed pattern of work, the employee will remain casual unless the employee  agrees to be converted to full-time or part-time employment.

We can assist employers in: auditing their casual arrangements to determine if any employees meet the casual conversion criteria, facilitating the conversion process to discharge employer obligations, reviewing casual employment agreements to ensure they meet the test for a genuine casual employment, and varying the contracts as required.

Important Disclaimer: The material contained in this article is comment of a general nature only and is not and nor is it intended to be advice on any specific professional matter. In that the effectiveness or accuracy of any professional advice depends upon the particular circumstances of each case, neither the firm nor any individual author accepts any responsibility whatsoever for any acts or omissions resulting from reliance upon the content of any articles. Before acting on the basis of any material contained in this publication, we recommend that you consult your professional adviser. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation (Australia-wide except in Tasmania).

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