On July 5 2017, the Fair Work Commission delivered a landmark decision as part of its four-yearly review of Modern Awards which will allow casuals to convert to permanent full time or part time work after being employed for 12 months.
These provisions are not completely new – they have been evident within some awards such as those within the Building and Construction industries for some time. However, the decision to include a casual conversion clause will impact an additional 85 modern awards with commentators suggesting that the retail and hospitality sectors will be most affected.
But what does this all really mean?
The Proposed Change
The Commission determined that if a casual staff member’s employment can be deemed as systematic and ongoing, then it is ‘fair and necessary’ to allow those casual employees the same entitlements of permanent employees. Under the proposed new clause, a casual employee will be able to convert to permanent if:
Refusal of a Casual Conversion Request
An employer can refuse a casual employee’s application to convert if:
What should businesses do now?
These changes are yet to come into effect with the Commission taking further submissions regarding the draft model. The changes are likely to be implemented in the coming months in which case, Deb Peppard of HR Staff n’Stuff makes the following recommendations:
If you have any questions about casual employees or modern awards, please contact the team at HR Staff n’Stuff via email or phone 9590 0844.
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