Changes to the Law Relating to Casual Employment

Changes to the Law Relating to Casual Employment

Changes to the Fair Work Act came into effect on 27 March 2021.

Amongst other things, these changes have included the introduction of:

  1. the Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS);
  2. a definition of casual employment; and
  3. a pathway for casual employees to move to full-time or part-time (permanent) employment.

Casual Employment Information Statement

Employers must now give every new casual employee a CEIS 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 the CEIS as soon as possible after 27 March 2021. Other employers must give their existing casual employees a copy of the CEIS as soon as possible after 27 September 2021. The CEIS can be downloaded from the Fair Work website.

Definition of a Casual Employee

Under the new definition, 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 employed as a casual, an employee will continue to be a casual employee until they either:

  1. become a permanent employee through:
    • casual conversion, or
    • are offered (and accept the offer) of full-time or part-time employment, or
  2. stop being employed by the employer.

Existing Casual Employees

Casuals who were employed immediately before 27 March 2021 and whose initial employment offer meets the new definition continue to be casual employees.

Pathway to Permanency for Casual Employees

The changes also amend the National Employment Standards (NES) giving casual employees a pathway to become a full-time or part-time (permanent) employee. This is known as ‘casual conversion’. An employer (other than a small business employer) must offer casual conversion when the employee:

  1. has worked for the employer for 12 months;
  2. has worked a regular pattern of hours for at least the last 6 months on an ongoing basis; and
  3. could continue working those hours as a permanent employee without significant changes.

Some exceptions apply, including if an employer has ‘reasonable grounds’ to not make an offer of casual conversion. There are also rules for how employers and employees need to make and respond to offers. Further, casual employees working for a small business have a right to request casual conversion at any time if they meet the requirements. Other casual employees may request casual conversion at any time after their employer has decided not to make an offer for casual conversion.

Finally, if you have read this far and think that you need some practical advice or assistance in relation to your situation, then now is probably the time to get in touch.

Austral Legal can help and we offer an initial discounted 30-minute SmartMove appointment for $80 by phone or in person at our office.

Bookings can be made online, or simply by phoning our office on 08 9745 9550. Once we have a handle on what is required, we may well be able to offer a fixed fee for any further legal services, giving you cost certainty from the start. Austral Legal. Practical advice.