Recent amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 change the workplace entitlements and obligations for casual employees, and came into effect on 27 March 2021.
Definition of Casual
A person is a casual employee if they accept a job offer from an employer knowing that there is no firm advance commitment to ongoing work with an agreed pattern of work. Once they have been employed as a casual, they will continue as a casual employee until they cease employment, or they become a permanent employee. The important factor to examine is the offer made to and accepted by the employee, not the subsequent pattern of work.
Casual Employment Information Statement
Employers now need to give every new casual employee a Casual Employment Information Statement before, or as soon as possible after, they start their new job. Small business employers (less than 15 employees) need to give their existing casual employees a copy of the CEIS as soon as possible after 27 March 2021. Other employers have to give their existing casual employees a copy of the CEIS as soon as possible after 27 September 2021.
The Casual Employment Information Statement can be downloaded here
Casual conversion to Permanent
Small business employers (less than 15 employees) are exempt from the requirement to offer conversion to permanent employment, to casual employees.
All other employers are required to offer casual employees who meet certain eligibility criteria the opportunity to convert to permanent employment. There is an exception available, if the employer has reasonable grounds to not make this offer.
Casual employees who are eligible, and not employed by a small business employer, may request to convert to permanent employment.
There are a range of rules around offers for casual conversion by employers, requests by employees, criteria and conditions.
To view further detail from Fair Work Australia on all of these changes, click here