Changes to Casual Employment – Industry Reforms

The Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) was amended on 26 March 2021 to change the workplace rights and obligations for casual employees. The changes were made by Fair Work Amendment Act 2021 and came into effect on 27 March 2021.

The changes that have occurred are the introduction of a Casual Employment Information Sheet, which provides a definition of casual employment and provides a pathway for casual employees to move into full-time or part-time (permanent) employment.

The Casual Employment Information Sheet (CEIS) must be provided to every new casual employee before or as soon as possible after the new casual employee starts their job. Small business employers must provide all existing casual employees with a copy of the CEIS as soon as possible after March 27 2021.

The definition of a casual employee has been amended in the FW Act to include a new definition. Under the new definition, a person is a casual employee if they accept a job offer from an employer and that there is no firm advance commitment to ongoing work with an agreed pattern of work. Once employed as a casual, an employee will continue to be a casual until they become a permanent employee through casual conversion or are offered & accept a full-time or permanent part-time employment or stop being employed by the employer.

The Amendment Act adds a new entitlement to the National Employment Standards giving a pathway for casuals to convert to permanent employees, known as ‘casual conversion’. An employer (other than a small business employer) has to offer their casual employee to convert to a permanent employee when the employee: has worked for the employer for 12 months, has a regular pattern of hours for at least 6 months on an ongoing basis, could continue working those hours as a permanent employee without significant changes. There are exceptions that apply such as small business employers and having ‘reasonable grounds’ not to make an offer.

If you have any questions or queries or want to check whether you are required to offer a permanent position to your staff members, feel free to contact Sophie or Graham for assistance.   

The CEIS is attached here for your reference.