What is a true casual employee? A true casual can be outlined as;

  • having no set hours or guaranteed work, and in turn the employee makes no guarantee to be available to work
  • will generally work irregular hours, with some amount of unpredictability of work
  • paid casual loading
  • not having an entitlement to paid sick or annual leave
  • having the ability to end employment without notice, unless notice is required by a registered agreement, award or employment contract

In light of the Full Federal Court decision on 16th August 2018 employers may find their casual workforce not being ‘true casuals’. In this case the Full Federal Court found a fly in fly out truck driver casual arrangement with their employer, Workpac was not a true casual relationship, due to the employee’s regular and continuous pattern of work. Additionally, the driver was expected to be available on an ongoing basis, with shifts set 12 months in advance. As outlined in section 86 of the Fair Work Act 2009 the driver was found to be entitled to paid leave benefits.

However, Workpac are currently seeking to appeal this decision. If upheld, there are wide implications of this decision, with employer associations and unions calling for an amendment of the Act.

Are you currently employing casuals and would like a workforce assessment? Contact our friendly consultants today.