Casual Employment

Just when we thought the employment landscape couldn’t get any more complicated in 2020 – the casual employment definition is being challenged. Employers have been thrown a curve ball with what constitutes being a ‘casual employee.’

What is casual employment?

The concept of casual employment is under examination, and it’s expected to undergo changes from its current state. Many businesses engage casual employees on a regular and systematic basis without a change in work patterns. Under the proposed changes this practice will no longer be allowed. If a business wishes to engage an employee with a consistent pattern of work, they will need to be classified as part time or full time employee.

Casual workers usually receive around 25% higher pay than permanent employees to compensate for potential leave benefits. Consequently, defining casual employment also involves questioning whether those with consistent work patterns should have access to these leave privileges. If this is the case, then the Fair Work Act deems that they are entitled and can effectively double dip.

If this isn’t enough to comprehend, changes were made on 30th October 2020 to majority of the awards to include a provision for overtime for casual employees. This is something that Employers need to be mindful of as it came into effect from the first pay period after 20th November 2020.

What does casual employment mean for employers?

The cost of having employees in businesses is multiplying. As a result, the cost of non-compliance is also growing. Knowing your obligations as an employer in Australia is becoming more complex by the minute. This year has seen several changes that relate to employment and it is the first of many to come. It is no wonder businesses owners are struggling to understand their responsibilities as an employer.

Employers have always perceived casual employment as the “convenient” choice for hiring staff. This is no longer going to be the case. Changing this mindset is also going to be difficult.

Franchisors that have a large network of casual employment have to act now, being ahead of the changes is important. They need to conduct HR audits, provide guidance to their Franchisees on their obligations and educate the network. Just because there are tokenistic casuals in the workforce, the law doesn’t necessarily agree.

For support in navigating this minefield, reach out to the team at Now Actually – your people are our people. Contact us today.

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