Casual Employment law changes
New rules are currently in place for employers of casual employees. Employers will be required to offer conversion to permanent employment for eligible casual employees. A written offer must be made within 21 days after the employees 12 month anniversary. These laws do not apply to small businesses, which is any business with fewer than 15 employees at a particular time.
How will I know if a casual employee is considered eligible? Casual employees will be deemed eligible for permanent employment if they:
have been employed by the employer for 12 months
has worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis for at least the last 6 months
could continue working these hours as a full-time or part-time employee without significant changes.
What are my obligations as an employer?
If the the employee's hours worked for at least the last six months have been the same as full-time hours, the offer needs to be for the employee to convert to full-time employment.
If the the employee's hours worked for at least the last six months have been less than full-time hours, the offer needs to be for the employee to convert to part-time employment. The offer should be consistent with the employee's regular pattern of hours worked for at least the last six months.
If an employer will not be making an offer, this must be communicated to the employee in writing within 21 days after the employee's 12 month anniversary and reasonable grounds must be cited.
Reasonable grounds for deciding not to make an offer can include that, in the next 12 months:
the employee's position won't exist
the employees hours of work will significantly reduce
the employee's days or times of work will significantly change, and that can't be accommodated within the employee's available days or times for work
Reasonable grounds can also include:
making the offer would not comply with a recruitment or selection process required by or under a Commonwealth, State or Territory law
the employer would have to make a significant adjustment to the employee's work hours for them to be employed full-time or part-time.
An employee has 21 days after receiving the offer to accept it in writing. If an employee fails to respond then the employer can assume the offer has been declined.
An employer is not able to reduce or change an employee's hours of work, or terminate their employment, to avoid having to offer or accept a request for casual conversion. Casual employees are also protected against adverse action by an employer because they have a workplace right to convert to permanent employment.