If you are a long-term casual employee – as are many working carers – things may soon start looking up for you.

fairwork

The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has decided that most awards should include a ‘casual conversion clause.’

A ‘casual conversion clause’ will allow casual employees to convert to part-time or full-time permanency, in certain circumstances.  Only a few current awards contain such a clause.

Despite the loading that casual labour attracts, the Commission has decided that Modern Awards still don’t provide enough of a safety net for long-term casuals.

Casual employment is full of uncertainties. For example, casuals can find it next to impossible to obtain housing finance, so it affects their ability to buy their own home. Casuals generally lack any defined career path and are often denied the kind of incremental financial progression that full-time employees may be granted.

Casuals tend to get less access to training and development opportunities and less workplace flexibility overall.

The Commission decided casuals should be able to convert to permanent employment if, according to their proposed model clause:

  • the employee has attained 12 months’ service with the employer; and
  • the employee has worked a pattern of hours that they could continue to perform on an ongoing basis in part-time or full-time employment; and
  • the conversion would not require a significant adjustment to the employee’s hours of work; and
  • it is reasonably foreseeable that the employee’s position will continue to exist for the next 12 months.

The model clause is still up for debate and the Commission has invited submissions from interested parties. 

If it gets accepted as the industry believes it will, employers will need to issue a notification to all casual employees to inform them of their rights.

To view submissions to the Fair Work Commission on this matter visit:

https://www.fwc.gov.au/awards-agreements/awards/modern-award-reviews/4-yearly-review/common-issues/am2014197-casual