Did you know that on 1 October 2018, 85 Modern Awards changed to include the right of casual workers to request permanent employment?
The new clause introduces the concept of a “regular casual employee”, being an employee who works “a pattern of hours on an ongoing basis which, without significant adjustment, the employee could continue to perform as a full-time employee or part-time employee”.
This means a casual staff member who has, over the past 12 months, consistently worked a pattern of hours equivalent to those performed under a part-time or full-time role according to the relevant Modern Award provisions. Employees now may be entitled to seek a full-time or part-time position, by submitting a request the employer for consideration.
Employers with casual employees who are covered by an Award are advised to firstly ensure they are aware of what awards their employees fall under.
If you are an employer once you know what awards cover your employees check to see if the casual conversion clause applies to your employees. If so you are required to provide your employees of the new clause or point them in the direction of the Award.
If a casual employee wishes to make a request to convert to a part time or full-time employee then the request must be placed in writing and the employer must respond in writing within 21 days of receiving the request. There is no requirement to agree to the request however the employer must provide reasonable grounds for rejecting such a request.
Reasonable grounds may consist of the following;
• The role performed by the employee may cease to exist within the next 12 months
• The hours of work required from the role may be reduced over the next 12 months
• The days and hours required from the role may change over the next 12 months
It is important that employers are aware of their obligations under the new casual conversion clause and that employment contracts also address this clause.
We understand that keeping up with the everchanging labour landscape can be tricky and we are here to help. Please reach out to our qualified HR Team if you have any further questions.