What is casual?

A casual employee is someone who accepts a job offer from an employer without a firm advance commitment to ongoing work with an agreed pattern of work.

In other words, the employer does not provide a guarantee of continued employment or a fixed schedule for the employee.

Casual employees typically have a more flexible arrangement where their roster or shifts can change each week according to the employer’s needs, and they often have the option to refuse or swap shifts.

According to the Fair Work Act, the definition of a casual employee includes the following criteria:

  • Job Offer: The person must be offered a job by the employer.
  • No Firm Advance Commitment: The job offer should not include a firm advance commitment that the work will continue indefinitely with an agreed pattern of work.
  • Acceptance with Knowledge: The person accepts the job offer knowing that there is no firm advance commitment and becomes an employee.

What casual employees get ?

Casual employees, under the National Employment Standards (NES), are entitled to the following:

Access to a pathway to become a permanent employee

Casual employees have the right to request conversion to permanent employment if they have been working regularly and systematically for their employer for a specified period. The specific requirements for eligibility vary depending on the industry and the applicable award or agreement.

Unpaid carer’s leave

Casual employees are entitled to two days of unpaid carer’s leave per occasion. This leave can be taken when the employee needs to care for a family or household member who requires their support due to illness, injury, or an unexpected emergency.
Unpaid compassionate leave

Casual employees can take two days of unpaid compassionate leave per occasion. This leave is available for employees who need to attend or arrange the funeral or other arrangements following the death of a family or household member, or to support a family or household member who has a life-threatening illness or injury.

Paid family and domestic violence leave

Casual employees are entitled to a specific amount of paid leave to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence. The entitlements and conditions may vary depending on the applicable award or agreement.

Unpaid community service leave

Casual employees have the right to take unpaid leave for voluntary emergency management activities, such as serving as a volunteer firefighter or participating in disaster response efforts.

Regarding payment, casual employees are typically paid either:

  • Casual loading: This is a higher pay rate provided to compensate for not receiving certain entitlements associated with permanent employment.
  • Specific pay rate for being a casual employee: Some awards or agreements may specify a particular pay rate for casual employees.

*To determine the minimum award rates for casual employees, you can use the Pay and Conditions Tool provided by the Fair Work Commission.

**Additionally, enterprise agreements can be found on the Fair Work Commission website.

It’s important to note that casual employees do not receive paid days off, notice of termination, or redundancy pay, even if they work regularly for a long time. These entitlements are typically associated with permanent employment.

In certain states and territories, long-serving casual employees may qualify for long service leave, which grants them paid time off based on their length of service.

What is the difference between casual, full-time, and part-time employment?

Full-time and part-time employees have an advance commitment to ongoing employment and can expect to work regular hours each week.

They are entitled to benefits such as paid leave and must give or receive notice to end the employment. However, it’s important to note that just having a regular pattern of work doesn’t necessarily mean an employee is considered permanent, whether full-time or part-time.

*For more detailed information about permanent employment, including specific hours and entitlements, you can visit the following resources:

  • Full-time employees

*Learn more :changing from part-time to casual employment.

How can Workstem assist you?

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