Source: Fair Work Ombudsman
Changes to casual employment – industrial relations reforms
On Friday 26 March 2021, the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) was amended to change workplace rights and obligations for casual employees. The changes were made by the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Act 2021 (Amendment Act). These changes came into effect on Saturday 27 March 2021.
The Amendment Act introduces a:
- Casual Employment Information Statement
- Definition of casual employment
- Pathway for casual employees to move to full-time or part-time (permanent) employment.
Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS)
Employers have to give every new casual employee a Casual Employment Information Statement (the CEIS) before, or as soon as possible after, they start their new job. An employer with fewer than 15 employees needs to give their existing casual employees a copy of the CEIS as soon as possible after 27 March 2021. Other employers have to give their existing casual employees a copy of the CEIS as soon as possible after 27 September 2021.
Definition of a casual employee
The FW Act has been amended to include a new 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 firm advance commitment to ongoing work with an agreed pattern of work. Once employed as a casual, an employee will continue to be a casual employee until they either:
- Become a permanent employee through:
- Casual conversion, or
- Are offered and accept the offer of full-time or part-time employment, or
- Stop being employed by the employer.
Existing casual employees
Casuals who were employed immediately before 27 March 2021 and whose initial employment offer meets the new definition continue to be casual employees under the FW Act.
Becoming a permanent employee
The Amendment Act adds a new entitlement to the National Employment Standards (NES) giving casual employees a pathway to become a full-time or part-time (permanent) employee. This is also known as 'casual conversion'.
An employer (other than a small business employer) has to offer their casual employee to convert to full-time or part-time (permanent) when the employee:
- has worked for their employer for 12 months
- has worked a regular pattern of hours for at least the last 6 of those months on an ongoing basis
- could continue working those hours as a permanent employee without significant changes.
Some exceptions apply, including:
- small business employers
- if an employer has ‘reasonable grounds’ not to make an offer to a casual employee for casual conversion.
Download the CEIS Form