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Casuals may soon have the right to become permanent staff

Whilst this change to the rights of casual employees is still in the draft phase, we feel that employers should be aware and possibly start planning for changes to the awards.

In the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) four yearly review of modern awards, the FWC has developed a draft model for 85 modern awards to contain a provision which will allow casual employees to request full-time or part-time employment after 12 months of employment.

The model provision includes:

  • a qualifying period of 12 calendar months
  • a qualifying criterion that the casual employee has over the qualifying period worked a pattern of hours on an ongoing basis which, without significant adjustment, could continue to be performed in accordance with the full-time or part-time employment provisions of the relevant award
  • the employer must 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 and
  • a conversion may be refused on the grounds that it would require a significant adjustment to the casual employee’s hours of work to accommodate them in full-time or part-time employment in accordance with the terms of the applicable modern award, or it is known or reasonably foreseeable that the casual employee’s position will cease to exist, or the employee’s hours of work will significantly change or be reduced within the next 12 months, or on other reasonable grounds based on facts which are known or reasonably foreseeable.

The Full Bench will make its final determination later this month.

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