The Fair Work Act 2009 has recently been amended to change the rights and obligations surrounding casual employment. There are three major changes that come with this amendment, which came into effect 27th March 2021. If you currently have casual employees or intend to hire casual staff in the future, this article may be of interest to you.
The definition of “Casual Employee”
The Fair Work Act now defines a casual employee as someone who accepts an offer for a job from an employer knowing that there is not a firm, advance commitment to ongoing work with an agreed pattern of work.
Casual Conversion Pathway
Under the National Employment Standards (NES), casual employers are entitled to access a pathway to become a permanent full-time or part-time employee. This is called casual conversion. An employee can request casual conversion; however, the employer may refuse on reasonable grounds. Further, an employer can offer a casual employee the opportunity to convert to permanent employment, as long as the employee has worked regular hours over the last 12 months.
Providing a CEIS
All employers who hire or currently employ casual employees, are now required to provide them with a CEIS (Casual Employment Information Statement), prior to or as soon as possible after the employee begins working for the entity. This can be provided via mail, in person or by email if agreed to by the employee.
The CEIS contains information such as:
- the definition of a casual employee
- when the employer is obligated to offer casual conversion
- when an employer does not have to offer a casual conversion
- when a casual employee can request casual conversion
- casual conversion entitlements of employees employed by small businesses
- the role of the Fair Work Commission to deal with disputed in relation to casual conversion
Under the recent changes, if you employ existing casual employees (prior to 27 March 2021), you are required to provide them with a CEIS as soon as possible. You can access the CEI statement HERE
If you have any questions surrounding the new legislation, please get in touch with us. We are always happy to assist.
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