What Entitlements Do Long-Term Casuals Have?

Many businesses employ workers on a casual basis for long periods of time. Known as long-term casuals, all the same casual rules of employment still apply. However, after 12 months, casual employees also receive other entitlements as the result of ongoing and permanent work.

 

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Entitlements for Long-Term Casuals

According to Fair Work Australia, a long term casual employee will acquire two additional entitlements on top of the typical casual entitlements. Subsequently, a long-term casual employee is entitled to:

  • Request flexible working arrangements
  • Take parental leave
  • Request a permanent contract (the employer can refuse if there is a good business case)
  • Paid long service leave

Despite these entitlements, casual employees do not receive redundancy pay. They also do not have to be notified of termination.

Who is a Casual Employee?

A casual worker is someone who is employed on a non-regular basis. The nature of casual work is that it is irregular, with an employee’s hours subject to change. Further, in WorkPac Pty Ltd v Skene [2018], the court affirmed the following criteria to fit the casual worker. A casual worker is a person who has:

  • No firm commitment to the other party
  • Irregular and also changing work patterns
  • A lack of continuity
  • Intermittency of work
  • Unpredictability
  • Uncertainty as to the period of employment

Advice for Employers

Employers should be careful to characterise their employees correctly and to afford employees all their entitlements. Also, to lower your risk of liability, it is wise to:

  • Continuously review employment contracts to make sure they accurately reflect your workers and also their working status
  • Review your rostering practices and amend them if required
  • Consider offering part or full time employment contracts to those who work regular hours and also those who have been employed for 12 months or more
  • Clearly identify casual loading in monetary terms. This is so that casual loading may be able to be set off against annual leave entitlements if a claim is made

Casual Conversion Clauses

All modern awards include a casual conversion clause. Casual conversion is where a casual employee transitions into a part or full time role. For this clause to be effective, a casual employee needs to have worked a consistent pattern of hours, and also on an ongoing basis.

Conclusion

To sum up, the provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) provide statutory protections for casual employees. As such, actions done by employers must be done with care or they will risk claims against them.

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