The Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Act 2021 (Cth) provides clarity for causal workers, a significant part of the Australian workforce, as to where they stand with their employers by aiding them to identify the nature of their employment right from the start.
A two-limbed statutory definition in the Act defines a ‘casual employee’ as someone who is:
- Offered employment with ‘no firm advance commitment to continuing and definite work according to the agreed pattern of work’; and
- Becomes an employee through accepting this offer.
The Act now provides help to people who have been offered employment identify whether their potential employer has made no promise for ‘… continuing and definite work…’. The Act encourages an offeree to look at whether the employer can elect work for the employee, whether the employee can accept or reject this work, whether they will only need to work when required, if the type of work is described as ‘casual employment’, and whether they are entitled to casual loading or any other rate of pay specifically available to casual workers. The Act also provides a new process for employees to initiate dispute resolution regarding offers and requests for casual conversion, while also making it compulsory for employers to provide new casual employees with the new Casual Employment Information Statement.
Upon acceptance of an offer of this nature, the employee is ‘locked in’ and cannot either convert to full-time or part-time employment, or receive further entitlements outlined in the Fair Work Act. Contact Morgan + English for assistance in understanding your rights.