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Significant Changes to Casual Employment Deadline: 27 September 2021

We have reported on the recent implementation on 27 March 2021 of the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Job and Economic Recovery) Act 2021 (“Amendment Act”) which enables casual employees to request permanent employment. However, it also places significant obligations on employers of casual employees some of which must be complied with by 27 September 2021.

What does this mean for employers?

  • Employers should review their contracts with existing casual employees to check whether the employees meet the new statutory definition of casual employment.  This is particularly important because the new definition of a casual employee will be determined by the terms of the contract rather than the conduct of the employee in practice.
  • By 27 September 2021, employers need to assess whether any of their existing casual employees who have been employed since before 27 March 2021 are eligible to be offered to convert to permanent employment.
  • Within 21 days of completing the assessment and by no later than 27 September 2021, employers need to:
    • Make a written offer to convert the casual employees to permanent employment; or
    • Write to the employees explaining why they will not be making an offer.  
  • If an employee has worked less than 12 months and employer does not need to offer them conversion to permanent employment.  However, when the employee reaches the point of completing 12 months of employment (eg. in the future), employers will need to offer permanent employment when: 
    • they have worked a regular pattern of hours for at least 6 months on an ongoing basis; and 
    • the employee’s regular hours could continue as a permanent employee without significant changes;

unless there are “reasonable grounds” not to offer employment.
If you an employer is making an offer in these circumstances, the offer must be made within 21 days of the employee’s 12 month anniversary.

  • Casual employees are also entitled to request conversion to permanent employment.
  • Employers must provide to every new casual employee
    1. a Casual Employment Information Statement, before or as soon as possible, after they commence their new job; and 
    2. the usual Fair Work Information Statement.

  • Other employers must give their existing casual employees a copy of the Casual Employment Information Statement as soon as possible after 27 September 2021.

For more information on this topic, please see our full article here or call us on 03 9548 5500. 


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