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Understanding Casual Employment

Published May 17, 2022 (last updated February 9, 2023) - Head of Operations

Understanding casual employment can be complex and confusing. If you are a business owner, you need to be aware of new changes in legislation. Do you employ casual workers?

In 2020, the Full Federal Court (in the judgement of Workpac Pty Ltd v Rossato) announced that your casual workers can, in some circumstances, still be considered as permanent employees. Regardless of what their contract states and regardless of the payment of casual loading. This decision took several industries by shock and created confusion among employers. The Federal Government estimated the potential cost to employers to be between $18 billion and $39 billion.

In short, the effect of this ruling was that some “casual” employees will be entitled to paid annual leave, personal/carer’s leave, compassionate leave, and public holidays. In addition, the Court ruled that the casual loading paid to the employee could not be claimed back by the employer.  

This aspect of the ruling was informally labelled ‘double dipping’ as affected casuals were able to access both sets of entitlements. 

However, in August 2021, the High Court overturned this decision and amended the Fair Work Act 2009 to include a statutory definition of ‘casual employee’ and inserted provisions to deal with casual loading.

If you employ casuals, your business may have been affected by this decision and the overturning of the ruling.

If you would like to review your contracts or understand more about casual employment, then get in touch with Employsure today and we can advise you on your business needs. Call our 24/7 Advice Line today for more information.

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