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How to manage casual staff.

Modern AwardsDecember 4, 2017

How to manage casual staff.

Businesses employing casual staff do so for a number of reasons, but as is the case with most features of workplace relations there are some key factors about employing casuals which business owners can easily overlook.

Hours of work.

By definition a casual employee is not guaranteed hours of work, and will often work irregular hours. Casual staff can be called and asked to work a shift by an employer, but they are not necessarily required to say yes ie they have the option to turn down shifts.

Sick leave and annual leave.

Casual staff are not entitled to paid annual leave or to paid personal or carer’s leave. However, they are entitled to a number of unpaid forms of leave eg unpaid carer’s leave and unpaid compassionate leave. Certain casual staff may be entitled to long service leave, dependent on which State they work in.

Ending employment.

Generally speaking, a casual employee does not need to provide a period of notice when resigning, unless this is prescribed by the applicable modern award, enterprise agreement or the individual contract of employment. Certain casual employees may also be entitled to lodge an unfair dismissal claim.

Rate of pay.

In addition to the base rate of pay, a casual employee is entitled to an additional loading. The applicable loading will be outlined in the award or agreement covering the employee. For award or agreement free employees, the loading is 25%.

There are some key differences between casual and permanent employees, and being unaware of this difference is not an excuse for underpayments. For advice on how to manage casual employees, employers should contact Employsure on 1300 651 415.


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