New Casual Employment Rights

29 MAR 2021


You may have heard in the news lately, that there has been a legislative change to provide increased rights for casual employees.

What is the new change?

On 22 March 2021, new amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) were implemented.

A definition of ‘casual employee’ was inserted into the Act. The definition states an employee will be a casual if they accept an offer of employment that is made on the basis of ‘no firm advance of commitment to continuing and indefinite work according to an agreed pattern of work’.

The amendments also introduced provisions, which require an employer to make an offer of part-time or full-time employment to a casual employee, if:

  1. The casual employee has been employed for a period of 12-months; and

  2. For the preceding 6-months of the anniversary date, the employee worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis that they could, based on reasonable business grounds, continue to do in future as either a full-time or a part-time employee.

There were other changes made too. For instance, where it is found by a Court or Tribunal that a casual employee is deemed to be a permanent employee (and not in fact a casual employee), then you will be able to offset any clearly identified casual loading previously paid to that employee against any claim for unpaid permanent entitlements such as annual leave, personal leave or public holiday pay. 

What does this mean for employers?

To ensure compliance with the new legislative change, employers should immediately assess whether they are required to make conversion offers to casual employees (to make an offer of part-time or full-time employment to eligible casual staff).

How can Marsdens help?

If you have any questions about the new casual employee law or how it may impact your business, please contact Aaran Johnson or Simon Kumar (contact details below) for an initial discussion.

You should take this opportunity to review your staffing arrangements and identify any regular and systemic casual employees who may be eligible for casual conversion. 

The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.

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