On 27 March 2021, an addition to the National Employment Standards (NES) came into effect. The changes provide a pathway for casual employees to convert to:
The industrial relations reforms provide an amended definition of a “casual employee”.
A person is a casual employee if they are offered and accept a job without a “firm advance commitment” to:
To determine if an employee is casual, consider whether:
There are other factors that may mean an employee is or isn’t casual. Whether they have a firm advance commitment from the employer is a key consideration.
Employers must provide all casual employees with the Casual Employment Information Sheet. This provides information on when they have the right to become a permanent employee.
Before 27 September 2021 employers must offer casual conversion to any employee:
Employers are only exempt from making an offer if they have “reasonable grounds” not to. If an employer intends not to make an offer, they must notify the employee in writing.
Employers with fewer than 15 employees do not have to offer casual conversion. Employees can, however, request full-time employment when they are eligible. To request conversion to full-time employment, the employee must:
The employee must also not have, in the last 6 months:
There are some exceptions that allow an employee to make another request within 6 months. For example, if their circumstances change and the grounds for refusal no longer apply.
The employer must consider the request and respond in writing. They can only refuse a request on certain grounds.
An employer can only refuse a request or choose not to make an offer for casual conversion if:
Reasonable grounds can include if, in the next 12 months, the employee’s:
The grounds relied on must be based on facts:
An employer must inform their employee of the grounds they are relying on if they:
All employees have workplace protections to allow them to exercise workplace rights. Casual conversion is an entitlement under the NES. An employer cannot take adverse action against an employee for:
It is unlawful for an employer to dismiss an employee due to their workplace right. An employer cannot dismiss a casual employee after 12 months to avoid having to make them an offer.
If a dispute has arisen with your employer or employee, you may need legal representation.
Employers can prevent opening their business to adverse action by seeking legal advice:
Employees may have avenues to make a claim against their employer if:
There are strict time limits in place, so you should act without delay to ensure you do not lose valuable rights.
If you need advice on your employment situation or representation in a dispute, we can assist.
It is imperative to have experienced lawyers when dealing with this complex area of law.
We have a wide range of experience as lawyers for both employers and employees. This allows us to reach timely resolutions and achieve results for our clients.
Our Brisbane Employment team will guide you through the dispute resolution process. We are happy to discuss your options and the steps you can take.
For expert legal advice and representation, contact us today.
Aitken Whyte Lawyers Brisbane
2/414 Upper Roma Street
Brisbane QLD 4000