Casual employment defined
Under the amended Fair Work Act, if a person is:
1. offered employment without a “firm advanced commitment to continuing and indefinite work”, and
2. the person accepts that offer,
then the person is a casual employee regardless of any changes in the employment relationship.
The considerations for determining whether a firm advance commitment to continuing and indefinite work exists include:
- whether the employer can elect to offer work and whether the employee can elect to accept or reject work
- whether the employee will work as required according to the needs of the employer
- whether the employment is described as casual employment
- whether the employee will be entitled to a casual loading or a specific rate of pay for casual employees under the terms of the offer or fair work.
When to offer a conversion from casual to permanent
The second key change is offering a conversion from casual to permanent employment.
Following lobbying by business groups, the initial casual conversion proposed provisions have been amended so the obligation to offer conversion to casual employees does not apply to small businesses with a headcount of less than 15 employees.