Understanding the Recent Changes to Casual Employment
In the recent Workpac v Rossato decision by the Fair Work Commission, there was further evidence that casual employees do have rights to entitlements if they are determined to be ‘Full Time’ employees. The critical parts are the definitions which are:
– a regular and systematic pattern of hours and;
– a predictable pattern of hours.
By the nature of these two definitions they are not the intention of the casual classification.
A similar decision was also handed down in 2018 in the Workpac v Skene case.
The need for a casual employee should be to begin at the beginning of the shift and end at the end of that shift. There is no regular pattern, no predictability but ad-hoc hours of work that fill the need of the business in a sporadic manner. An employee who works 38 hrs a week for 12 months is not a casual classification. This employee should be a Full-Time employee. In this case the regular pattern of hours and the predictable pattern of hours should exclude them from the casual classification.
Julie is employed as a casual sales assistant in a ladies fashion house. The hours she works are Monday, Thursday and Saturday for a total of 18 hours (6 hours/shift). Julie works the same hours every week and the roster hardly changes. Julie is not a casual. Julie is a Part Time Employee and should have an employment contract that is representative of that Part Time engagement.
Scott is employed as a casual bar attendant in a local pub. Scott works 4 hours on a Friday night. Then 6 hours on a Sunday afternoon. He then works 4 hours on a Thursday night but does not work for another week and comes back to work 4 hours on a Monday night and another 7 hours on a Wednesday. He then has another 5 days without working a shift. Scott is a casual. Due to the irregular pattern of hours worked and the irregular shift times worked. Scott should have an employment contract that reflects the casual nature of the engagement.
If your casuals look like Julie then you may be exposed to leave entitlement accruals and future claims for these accruals from employees. It is worthwhile taking the time to sit down with your HR team (or HR OnDemand) to walk through any potential issues and create a plan on reduce your liability.
If this has gotten you thinking that you may need some guidance about how to start on this process or to provide advice on your next steps to ensure ongoing HR compliance, please feel free to give us a call on 1300 559 585. Our HR professionals would love to share their knowledge in this area with you and get your team moving on the journey to greatness! As a further resource for this topic, our HR professionals recently facilitated a live webinar based on the casual employment changes which you can access by requesting a link here https://73f40687-acd2-4d3e-a331-6201389481d7.webinarninja.com/live-webinars/355087/register?in_tok=9e534914-62ae-4bb3-9284-035897a4a01a