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Casual Employment Law: Deadline 27 September Image

Casual Employment Law: Deadline 27 September

Earlier this year the High Court ruled on the Rossato v WorkPac case and the government passed the Industrial Relations Omnibus Bill.

For employers of casual and temporary staff this has hopefully brought some clarity on what a casual worker actually is. But as a result there are changes to workplace law and the FairWork Act that businesses need to put in place.

The deadline to implement most of these changes is Monday 27 September.

 

What's changing

The High Court ruling and the government's Bill try to make the difference between a casual and permanent employee much clearer. They don't quite succeed so expect more legislation soon to tidy things up further.

For now at least, the definition of a casual worker is:

“An employee who has no firm advance commitment from the employer as to the duration of the employee's employment or the days (or hours) the employee will work and provides no reciprocal commitment to the employer.”

The hope is that this will put an end to so-called double dipping claims – when employees who receive casual loading also claim entitlements normally reserved for permanent staff.

Employers are also required to offer casual employees the chance to convert to permanent status after 12 months if they have worked “regular and systematic” shift patterns.

 

What to do now

There are some specific steps that employers of casual staff need to take before the 27 September deadline.

  • All new casual employees need to given FairWork’s Casual Employee Information Statement as soon as possible after they start. Existing employees must be given the statement before 27 September.
  • Employers should review all their casual employment agreements and make sure they comply with the new FairWork rules. For example, contracts must include clauses that state the casual loading amount and specify which entitlements it covers to prevent double-dipping claims.
  • The rules around offering permanent conversion within 12 months are very clear, so employers need to make sure they have processes in place so that nobody gets missed. All offers and requests must be logged and properly responded to.
  • And last but not least, permanent conversion offers must be made to all applicable existing casual staff before Monday 27 September.

If you’re an employer of casuals and you don’t have all that in place yet, or you’re unsure as to exactly what you need to do, a great place to start is with an audit of your casual staff.

At Symmetry HR we’ve done quite a lot of casual employee audits in the last year, so if we can help click here to set up a 15 minute call and we can talk it through.

 

Watch the Q&A

For over a year at Symmetry HR we've been running a series of webinars and Q&A sessions with our friend Nick Tindley, Partner with FCB Workplace Law and member the Workplace Policy Committee of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Below you can see a recording of the latest Q&A that our CEO, Wayne Baker, did with Nick earlier this year. It covers most of the above points in a lot more detail:

 

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