The Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2021 (Bill) 2021 was passed by parliament on the 22 March 2021.
- What does this mean?
There will be changes to the definition of casual employment. ‘Casual employment’ is currently not defined by the Act, it has been left to the Federal Court to develop a definition.
The Bill has inserted a definition of ‘casual employment’ into the Act, which will provide that a person is a casual employee if:
- The offer of employment is made on the basis there is no firm advance commitment to continuing and indefinite work according to an agreed pattern of work; and
- The offer is accepted on that basis; and
- The person accepting the offer is an employee because of that acceptance.
The Bill provides a list of meaning for casual employee which will help to determine the factor for new casuals.
A new Casual Employment Information Statement is also being prepared and must be given to new casual employees.
- Casual conversion
Currently there is no universal right to casual conversion in the Act, although some modern awards do contain this right. The Bill will see the inclusion of a new provision into the National Employment Standard (NES) relating to offers and requests for casual conversion. Once this is enacted, some employers will be required to offer casual employees conversion to ongoing full-time or part-time employment if:
- The employee has been working for a period of 2 months; and
- During at least the last six months of that 12 months period, the employee has worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis which the employee could continue to work as a permanent employee.
Where an employee is entitled to be offered the conversion the employer is required to make the offer in writing within 21 days of the employee have being employed for 12 months.
The employer will not be required to make the offer of casual conversion based on ‘reasonable grounds. The Bill provides a list of what is considered ‘reasonable grounds’, including for example if the employees employment is likely to cease within a period of the next 12 months, or the hours of which the employee is currently doing will be significantly reduced during that period.
If you require further information or assistance, please contact HR Leading Edge.
Ref: McCullough Robertson Lawyers