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Changing Face Of Casual Employees.

Published August 01, 2017 (last updated June 24, 2020) -
2 employees smiling

Please note that the information provided below is relevant as of 01/08/17. To receive news on the latest legislative changes, sign up for our Free Monthly Newsletter.

Casual employees with 12 months of service could soon be entitled to become full or part-time employees. The recent decision by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has put on notice employers covered by 85 Modern Awards that they may well be required to consider making permanent any casual with 12 months’ service. While not a final decision, the impact on employers and the changes this will make to businesses around the country could completely change the role of casuals in Australian workplaces.

What are the changes?

Under a proposed model clause, casual employees with 12 months of service will be able to request full-time or part-time status under 85 of the Modern Awards that currently do not contain a casual conversion clause. While the change has been suggested and discussed by the FWC, the changes are not final and will go through a consultation phase. The FWC will make a final determination in coming months, at which point the exact details will be known.

At this stage, the clause will likely contain the following aspects:

  • a qualifying period of 12 consecutive calendar months
  • a requirement that the employee have worked a pattern of hours on an ongoing basis over the 12 month period that could continue to be worked on a full time or part time basis without significant adjustment
  • the employer must provide all casual employees with a copy of the casual conversion clause within the first 12 months after their initial engagement

Can an employer refuse a casual employee’s request?

An employer can refuse a request, on reasonable business grounds following consultation with the employee. This refusal may be based on a number of specific grounds, including if it would create a significant adjustment to the employee’s hours of work, or if the employer can foresee their position would no longer exist in the following 12 months.

What next?

The details at this stage, are not final and the FWC is requesting submissions from interested parties. Employsure will be monitoring this issue and the details of the final determination. As information comes to hand, clients will be updated on what it means for their business.

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