Do you employ casual employees? Are you ready for 27 September 2021?
Aitken Legal has previously reported on the amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) that commenced on 27 March 2021 – New statutory definition of ‘casual employee’ – clarifies previous uncertainty around casual employment’.
Below is a summary of the amendments:
- Introduction of a new definition of ‘casual employee’
- Introduction of a new definition of ‘regular casual employee’ (and repeal of ‘long term casual’)
- Introduction of a new casual conversation provisions (offers and requests)
- Provision for the Fair Work Commission (‘Commission’) to conciliate disputes about casual conversion
- Provision for the Commission to vary enterprise agreements to resolve difficulties as a result of the new statutory casual provisions
- Provision for the Commission to review terms of modern awards to ensure consistency with the new statutory casual provisions by 27 September 2021
- Requirement to provide existing, and all new employees, with a copy of the new Casual Employment Information Statement
So, what do employers need to do before 27 September 2021?
Casual Conversation Offer – employers (other than small business employers) must assess all existing casual employees and provide eligible employees within 21 days with a:
- Casual Conversion Offer in writing to convert to permanent employment; or
- Written Notice that no offer for casual conversion is to be made based on reasonable grounds; or
- Confirmation in writing that a casual employee engaged for 12 months is not eligible for a casual conversion offer because the employee has not worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis during at least the last 6 months.
To be clear, the assessment is to include periods of employment before 27 March 2021 as well as after.
Casual employee eligibility is based on whether the employee has:
- worked for the employer for a period of 12 months; and
- during the last 6 months of employment, the employee worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis; and
- the employee could easily convert to part-time or full-time employment without ‘significant adjustment’.
An employer may be exempt from making a Casual Conversion Offer on ‘reasonable grounds’.
Casual Employment Information Statements – employers (other than small business employers) must also provide all existing casual employees a copy of the CEIS as soon as possible after 27 September 2021.
Note – small business employers were required to provide existing casual employees with a copy of the CEIS as soon as possible after 27 March 2021.
Contact one of Aitken Legal’s specialist employment lawyers if you require assistance with:
- reviewing casual employee contracts of employment to ensure consistency with the new statutory provisions;
- meeting your requirements to provide casual employees with a Casual Conversion offer and CEIS;
- understanding when a casual employee may make a Casual Conversion Request; and
- understanding how the new statutory provisions interact with enterprise agreements and modern awards.
Disclaimer: The information contained this article is general and intended as a guide only. Professional advice should be sought before applying any of the information to particular circumstances. While every reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this update, Aitken Legal does not accept liability for any errors it may contain. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.