With less than 10 weeks to go before Christmas and with the recent changes to casual employment we are getting this question more and more when it comes to employing casuals. Casual employees have the right to request casual conversion as of Monday, 1st October 2018. If you employ causal workers, you need to be aware of this.

From now on casual workers have the right to ask their employer for a permanent position if they have worked regular and systematic hours for at least 12 months or more. The Fair Work commission passed down a new ruling last year that came into effect from 1 October 2018. If you employee a person who works an average of 38 hours for at least 12 months they can ask for their position to be converted to a full-time permanent role. Those people who worked less than 38 hours can request part-time employment if they have worked a regular pattern of hours.




Important things you need to know:

  • An employee needs to put this in writing to you, this can still be refused but only on reasonable grounds and after you’ve discussed this with them.
  • Reasonable grounds might mean the position won’t exist in 12 months’ time or the hours may drop.
  • Based on the shift/ working pattern which needs to work for the business.

When an employee becomes a permanent member of your team it would give them standard entitlements it also gives them a guarantee of standard working hours and pay. A causal employee currently can have their shifts or working pattern changed at the last minute.

It also important to note that this change comes as casual retail workers have their penalty rates increased on Saturdays and weeknights before the busy Christmas period.

A full bench of the FairWork Commission headed up by Justice Iain Ross, ruled the Saturday penalty rate for retail casual employees shall increase from 10% to 25% and casuals starting work after 6pm will also now attract the same loading as permanent retail employees, who get 25% loading on their shift. These new rates are set to come in from November 1st with more than 350,000 workers covered by the award, understandably this is a bit hit for retailers to take and right before the busy period.

Casual employees are the very lifeblood of retail and with this hit is going to cost employers.

Important info about retail Christmas casuals:

  • the adult (21+) casual rate starts from $25.99
  • they have a 3 hour minimum shift length
  • if working more than 4 hours they get a paid 10 minute break and if more than 5 hours they also get a 30 – 60 minute unpaid break

Junior rates apply for people under the age of 21.

These are the minimum entitlements under the Retail Award. If your workplace has an (EA) enterprise agreement entitlements may be different.

Check the pay calculator to find minimum rates:

If you have questions, feel free to look us up about this or anything else HR related.