The Fair Work Commission reviews modern awards every 4 years to make sure the awards continue to provide a fair and minimum safety net to employees.
In the most recent review, the Fair Work Commission decided that all awards should provide a right for casual employees to convert to part-time or full-time permanent employment in some circumstances. Some awards already contain a casual conversion clause, but not all.
Whilst the changes aren’t set in stone, employees should be aware that, very soon, they may be able to make this request (if not already, depending on the award). Employers should begin planning now for the potential impact of these changes.
The Commission has developed a model casual conversion clause which it proposes to include in 85 modern awards (which do not currently contain a similar right to casual employees).
To be able to make a request for conversion to permanent, the casual must –
Employers should be aware that even if the conversion clause is not invoked, employing someone on a regular and systemic pattern can still be deemed a part-time employment arrangement even if the parties are treating it as a casual employment. This is particularly relevant in the event of dismissal.
The model clause also requires the employer to provide all casual employees (whether they become eligible for conversion or not) with a copy of the casual conversion clause within the first 12 months after their initial engagement.
If a casual worker makes a request for conversion, the employer may refuse the request if –
If you have questions regarding casual and permanent employment or any employment law issues, please don’t hesitate to contact me.