04 Oct CASUAL EMPLOYEES ARE ENTITLED TO CONVERT TO PERMANENT EMPLOYMENT
From 1 October 2018 a number of modern awards were updated to incorporate variations. One of the most significant variations was the insertion of a casual conversion model term.
What does this mean?
Depending on what modern award/s apply to your business, your casual employees may have a right to request conversion to permanent employment if they meet the definition of “regular casual employee” as defined by the applicable modern award.
What do I need to know?
If you are an employer of casual employees, you need to check the modern award/s that apply to your casual employees to see if the right to request casual conversion has been included in those awards from the 1 October 2018.
The right to request casual conversion clauses typically require the employee to request conversion to full-time or part-time employment where they are able to demonstrate that over the preceding twelve months they have worked a pattern of hours on an ongoing basis without significant adjustment that they could continue to perform as a full-time or part-time employee.
It is important to note that employers have the ability to refuse a request to convert a casual employee to permanent employment, however the refusal must meet the very strict requirements set out in the applicable modern award.
Further and most importantly, employers need to be aware that most casual conversion clauses in the modern awards place a positive obligation on the employer to provide their casual employees, irrespective of if they have regular shifts or not, with a copy of the relevant clause of the modern award within the first twelve months of their engagement. For those employees already employed as at 1 October 2018, a copy of the relevant award provision must be provided by 1 January 2019.
Failure to comply with your obligations under a modern award is a contravention of the Fair Work Act 2009 for which penalties can be imposed.
What do I need to do?
Employers need to:
1. Check the modern awards that apply to your casual employees to see if a right to request casual conversion has been included in the recent modern award.
2. If a right to request causal conversion has been added to the modern award, provide all casual employees currently employed with a copy of the applicable clause of that award.
3. For all new casual employees hired, ensure that when they are first engaged they are provided with a copy of the relevant provision of the applicable modern award.
Records of how you have provided each employee with a copy of the relevant clause of the modern award should be kept so you are able to demonstrate compliance with your obligations at law.
Anyone requiring assistance in communicating this change in the modern awards to their employees should contact HR Law for assistance.
Note: Some of the modern awards which now include casual conversion obligations include:
1. Aboriginal Community Controlled Heath Services Award 2010.
2. Aged Care Award 2010.
3. Air Pilots Award 2010.
4. Aircraft Cabin Crew Award 2010.
5. Airline Operations-Ground Staff Award 2010.
6. Banking, Finance and Insurance Award 2010.
7. Children’s Services Award 2010.
8. Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010.
9. Fast Food Industry Award 2010.
10. Food, Beverage and Tabaco Manufacturing Award 2010.
11. General Retail Industry Award 2010.
12. Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010.
13. Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010.
14. Legal Services Award 2010.
15. Mining Industry Award 2010.
16. Pharmaceutical Award 2010.
17. Professional Employees Award 2010.
18. Racing Clubs Events Award 2010.
19. Real Estate Industry Award 2010.
20. Restaurant Industry Award 2010.
21. Social, Community, Homecare and Disability Services Industry Award 2010.
22. Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2010.
23. Water Industry Award 2010.
24. Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.