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Employing Casuals has changed

Do you employ Casual staff in your business?
The Fair Work Act 2009 was amended to change the workplace entitlements for Casual employees. This included 3 things.
1. Casual Employment Information Statement
From now on when you employ a new person in a Casual role, ensure you are giving them a copy of Fair Work’s “Casual Employment Information Statement” along with any other paperwork before, or as soon as possible after, they start.
2. Definition of Casual Employment
The new definition of a casual employee is a person who accepts a job offer from an employer knowing that there is no firm advance commitment to ongoing work with an agreed pattern of work. Not much change there.
3. Pathways to transfer from Casual to Permanent
But there is now a pathway for Casual employees to become Permanent employees at the 12-month anniversary of their start date. It is called Casual Conversion.
There are eligibility requirements, exceptions that apply and processes that need to be followed. But it can be entered into either by:
  • You offering it as their employer; or
  • Your employee making a request themselves
If you are a Small Business Employer (you have <15 staff) you have no obligation to initiate this yourself, but your eligible staff are able to request it.
This applies to any Casual employee who starts in your business on or after 27 March 2021. However, in terms of existing Casual staff you already have on board, you will need to assess their eligibility and offer a Casual conversion or confirm why you are declining in writing by 27 September 2021.
Casual Conversion
Who is eligible
To be eligible, a Casual employee must have:
  • at least 12 months of continuous service
  • has worked a regular & systematic pattern of hours on an ongoing basis for at least the last 6 months
  • could continue working these hours as a full-time or part-time employee without significant changes to your business
There is no one definition for “regular & systematic” work. It does not just mean frequent, uniform or even often hours. But as a good test the hours will have some form of pattern (e.g. the same number of hours each week, or the same days each week) and there is a reasonable expectation of that continuing. Where there is no clear pattern or roster, evidence of regular and systematic employment can be established where:
  • you offered shifts at similar days/times the employee had previously worked; and
  • the employee worked regularly enough that it could no longer be regarded as occasional or irregular

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