If you employee casual staff or work as a casual employee, there could be changes ahead for you following the latest Fair Work Commission (FWC) review of Modern Awards. You have until August 2nd 2017 to make submissions on their proposal after which the FWC will make a final ruling.
Let’s have a look at these proposed changes in turn.
Transitioning from casual employment
The FWC has emphasised the need to prevent employees from being kept in casual employment for longer than is fair. 80 Awards not covered by a clause to upgrade an employee from casual to full or part-time employment have now had that casual conversion clause added. To qualify for casual conversion, the following must apply:
- The casual employee has been employed for at least 12 months.
- The casual employee worked a pattern of regular hours that could be continued .
Employers must provide casual employees with a copy of the casual conversion clause within 12 months. They can still refuse to upgrade them to full or part-time employment if doing so would require a significant change in the employee’s working hours or if there is a reasonable chance that the employee’s position won’t exist or their hours will significantly change over the next 12 months. If you’re an employer, make sure you can demonstrate that this is the case.
Casual overtime rates
A range of Award Rates have been targeted for upgrade to include overtime payments. The Awards likely to be affected by this include the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010, Registered and Licensed Clubs Award 2010, Restaurant Industry Award 2010, General Retail Industry Award 2010, Fast Food Industry Award 2010 and Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010.
Minimum engagement period
The FWC has proposed changing 34 Modern Awards that currently have no minimum engagement period to include a 2 hour minimum engagement period for casuals.
A 3 hour minimum engagement period has also been proposed for a range of awards including the Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010, the Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010, Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award 2010 and the Food, Beverage, and Tobacco Manufacturing Award 2010.
To learn more about your obligations and rights as an employer or employee, contact us today.