Casual Employment Changes
On Friday 26 March 2021 the Fair Work Act was amended to change workplace rights and obligations for casual employees. These changes alter some key principles around casual employment which will have an impact on all businesses that employ casual employees.
What has changed?
The three major Casual Employment Changes include a clearer definition of casual employment, an introduction of a casual employment information statement and a pathway for casuals to move into permanent employment.
1. New definition of a casual employment
An employee is casual if they accept a job from an employer knowing there is no firm advance commitment to ongoing with an agreed pattern of work. Once employed a casual employee remains casual until they either:
- Become a permanent employee through:
- – are offered and accepted the offer of permanent employment (full time or part time); or
- – a casual conversion; or
- Stopped being employed by the employer.
2. Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS)
This is a new information statement that needs to be provide to all casual employees called Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS). This statement needs to be provided in addition to the Fair Work Information Statement (FWIS) before or as soon as possible after they start their new job.
Small business employers who have fewer than 15 employees need to provide their existing employees a copy of the CEIS as soon as possible after 27 March 2021. All other employers need only provide the CEIS as soon as possible after 27 September 2021.
3. Pathway for casual employees to permanent employment (full time or part time)
An employer (other than a small business) has to offer their casual employees to covert to permanent (full time or part time) when the employee has met the following conditions:
- has worked for their employer for 12 months;
- has worked a regular pattern of hours for at least the last 6 months on an ongoing basis;
- could continue to work those hours as a permanent employee without significant changes.
Some exceptions apply including;
- small business employers (those businesses who employ under 15 staff); or
- if an employer has ‘reasonable grounds’ not to make an offer to a casual employee for casual conversion.
If an employee refuses an offer to convert they lose the right to convert for the next 6 months and equally, where an employer has determined that there a reasonable business grounds to not make an offer of casual conversion and notifies the employee in accordance with Act then the employees also cease to hold a right to request conversion for the next 6 months.
Transition rules apply for exiting employees.
What should businesses do to implement the changes?
- All businesses that employ casual employees should audit their casual workforce immediately.
- Introduce processes to ensure compliance with this new casual conversion legislation.
- Reassess your workforce mix and labour strategies to determine whether your existing arrangements can be optimised with these new changes.
- If you do not have casual employment contracts in place it is highly recommended you provide them to all casuals. This outlines the employee is a casual, that there is no commitment to ongoing or regular work, identifies the casual loading rate which is paid instead of leave entitlements as well as other clauses pertaining to casuals.
This information sheet has been developed and shared by our Human Resource Consultants – HR Dept. Should you have any queries in relation to the Casual Employment Changes or need help with a review of your casual workforce, drafting casual contract templates or would like help to implement the changes, please contact the HR Dept on 08 6246 2188 or Visit their website.
Alternatively visit the Fair Work website for information on this and more employment queries.