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