A recent decision of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) as part of the 4 yearly review of modern awards will see casual conversion provisions added to modern awards from 1st October 2018.
This decision will impact employers who provide casual employees with regular and systematic hours, as employers may be required to convert their casual employees into permanent roles.
Presently casual employees are not required to receive any commitment from an employer regarding how long they will be employed for, or the days and hours they will work. Casual employees are also not required to commit to all work that is offered to them by an employer.
Employers who make advance commitments and provide regular shift patterns to their casual employees for extended periods of time are risking their ability to maintain a casual workforce.
What this Means for You as an Employer
Effective 1st October 2018, employers will be required to provide all casual employees with a copy of the provisions contained in the relevant Award by 1st January 2019. Casual employees commencing on or after 1st October 2018 will need to receive a copy of the provisions within the first 12 months after their first working day with the employer.
Employers who engage casual employees to perform regular patterns of work on an ongoing basis must consider requests from casual employees to convert their employment status. Employees can make a conversion request after 12 months, and there are limited grounds on which an employer can refuse a request.
Advice for Employers
Employers who engage casual employees should ensure they follow the guidelines below:
- Read the provisions in the awards when published on 1st October 2018
- Ensure all employee requests to convert from casual to part time or full-time employment are made in writing.
- Respond to employee casual conversion requests in writing within 21 days.
- Document all instances where:
- Employees are provided with a copy of the provisions;
- Regular casual employees elect not to convert;
- Casual employees request to convert;
- You respond to casual employee requests to convert.
- Ensure all casual employees commencing on or after 1st October 2018 are provided with a copy of the provisions within first 12 months employment.
- Provide all existing casual employees with a copy of the provisions before 1st January 2019.
Ensuring accurate records are maintained strongly assists employers to demonstrate evidence of their compliance with workplace laws.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Employers can read more about the Fair Work Commission decision here.
If you have further questions on any employment matters, please contact the Employer Assistance Helpline on 1300 731 988.