On the 27th March 2021, there were changes made by the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Act 2021 to workplace rights and obligations for casual employees that employers need to be aware of.
The Amendment Act introduces a:
- Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS)
- Definition of casual employment
- Pathways for casual employees to move to full-time or part-time (permanent) employment
What does this mean for employers?
Employers must now provide a copy of the Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS) to every new casual employee before, or as soon as possible after they start their new job. Small business employers (less than 15 employees), are required to provide their existing casual employees a copy of the CEIS as soon as possible after the 27th March 2021. All other employers must provide a copy of the CEIS to their existing casual employees as soon as possible after the 27th September 2021.
How to provide the CEIS to casual employees
Employers can provide their casual employees a copy of the CEIS:
- in person
- by mail
- if the employee agrees, by emailing a copy of the CEIS or a link to the CEIS
Where can the CEIS be found?
A copy of the CEIS can be found here – Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS)
Definition of casual employment
The Amendment Act includes an updated definition of a casual employee. Under the new definition, a person is a casual employee if they accept a job offer from an employer knowing that there is no advance confirmed commitment to ongoing work, or with an agreed pattern of work.
Once a casual employee has been employed, they will remain a casual employee until they either:
- Become a permanent employee through:
- A casual conversion; or
- Are offered and accept an offer of full-time or part-time employment.
- Cease employment with the employer.
Casual employees who were employed immediately before the 27th March 2021 amendment and whose initial employment offer meets the new definition, will continue to be classed as a casual employee.
How can casual employees become permanent?
The Amendment Act has included a new entitlement to the National Employment Standards (NES) that enables casual employees a pathway to become a full-time or part-time employee (permanent), known as a conversion. For an employee to be entitled to become a full-time or part-time employee (permanent), they have:
- Worked for the employer for 12 months;
- Worked a regular pattern of hours for at least the last 6 of those months on an ongoing basis; or
- Continued working those hours as a permanent employee without significant changes.
Some exceptions apply which include:
- Does not apply to small businesses employing less than 15 people; or
- If an employer has ‘reasonable grounds’ not to make an offer to a casual employee for casual conversion.
How an employer should make and respond to offers and requests for casual conversion?
There are guidelines that must be followed by employers and employees when making and responding to offers and requests for casual conversion. This is to ensure that the objective is clear for both parties and a fair and equitable process is followed.
For assistance in managing offers and requests for casual conversion, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team, via the chat box here or calling us on 08 6150 0043.
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