Increased rights for long term casual employees from 1 October 2018

Increased rights for long term casual employees from 1 October 2018

What is casual conversion?

In its earlier decision on 5 July 2017, the FWC acknowledged that casual employment is significantly associated with:

  • Lack of paid leave;
  • Difficulty obtaining loans from financial institutions;
  • Lack of career path;
  • Diminished access to training and workplace participation; and
  • Poorer health and safety outcomes.

In addition to this, there is a significant proportion of casual employees who have worked for their current employer for long periods of time as a casual, have a regular working pattern which in some cases consist of full-time hours, and are dissatisfied with their casual.

Casual conversion is a mechanism by which casual employment may be converted to an appropriate form of permanent employment where the casual employee’s employment is long-term in nature, and of sufficient regularity that is consistent with permanent full-time or part-time employment under the relevant Modern Award.

What does this mean for casual employees?

As a result of this clause, all casual employees have the right to request casual conversion. As a casual employee, you can request conversion if:

  • You have worked for an employer for at least 12 months; and
  • You have worked a pattern of hours which, without significant adjustment, you could continue to perform as a full-time or part-time employee.

Any request must be provided to the employer in writing, after which the employer has 21 days to respond in writing.

Casual employees should consult any Modern Award that covers their employment.

What does this mean for employers?

The employer may refuse a request for casual conversion only if it is refused on reasonable grounds and there has been consultation with the employee. Reasonable grounds include that conversion would require a significant adjustment to the casual employee’s hours of work, or it is known or reasonably foreseeable that the hours of work, days and/or times that the employee is required to perform will change or cannot be accommodated by the employee.

Where an employee does not accept the employer’s refusal for conversion, this constitutes a dispute that must be dealt with in accordance with dispute resolution procedure. If the dispute cannot be resolved at the workplace lever, either party may refer the matter to the FWC.

Additionally, employers must also provide casual employees with a copy of the provisions of the casual conversion clause in the relevant Modern Award within the first 12 months of the employee’s engagement.

For further details and to read the FWC Decisions, consult:

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