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Contingent & Casual Labour Law Changes in Australia: What these mean for you

By: Aquent

DATE: 24 March, 2021

On 18th March 2021, the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia's Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2021 passed through the Senate, meaning there are changes to the IR Omnibus Bill that organisations who employ contingent and casual workers should be aware of.

These amendments provide a statutory definition of a casual employee — a new process to manage the conversion of contingents and casuals to permanent status. It also includes the elimination of doubt around rights to casual loading, as well as their right to standard leave entitlements, a situation that came to be known as “double dipping”.

Whilst these changes will deliver certainty, confidence and security for Australian businesses and workers, there are still a number of considerations that you need to factor in when you use contingent and casual labour.

Important things to consider:

Defining a casual employee:

  • A person is a casual employee if the employer makes no firm advance commitment to continuing and indefinite work according to an agreed pattern of work.
  • The offer of employment will define the type of work ie: casual and must be agreed by both parties.
  • A casual employee will remain a casual employee until such time as they convert to full-time or part time employment or find alternative employment.

Transitioning a casual employee:

  • A casual employee who has worked for an employer for at least 12 months and has, during at least the last 6 months of that time, worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis may be entitled to be offered, or request, conversion to full-time employment or part-time employment.

How Aquent can help:

As a global work solutions company, we help organisations find, grow, and support their most valuable resource—people. Established more than 30 years ago, we employ thousands of casual and contingent workers so we understand the risks and compliance associated with managing highly legislative workforces.

Our Employer of Record services provide organisations, ranging from small independent agencies right through to the largest global tech companies with compliant and risk free solutions that allow you to continue to employ the best contingent and casual workers in the market.

You can use our Employer of Record services for a single employee, a team, or across your entire organisation.

If you would like more details on how we can help, or have any concerns or questions around how you engage with your contingent and casual workforce, and would like a confidential, no obligation compliance review, please contact us on 02 8288 8288 in Sydney or 03 9244 9999 in Melbourne.