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Changes to casual employment laws

Recent amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 have changed workplace entitlements and obligations for casual employees.

One of the amendments to the Act includes a pathway for casual employees to become full-time or part-time permanent employees.

Among other things, employers (other than small business employers) now need to offer ‘casual conversion’. This involves the employer making a written offer to convert their casual employee to permanent employment within 21 days after the employee’s 12-month anniversary, if the employee:

  • has been employed by the employer for 12 months
  • has worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis for at least the last six months, and
  • could continue working these hours as a full-time or part-time employee without significant changes.

These changes will affect existing casual employees. By 27 September 2021, employers (other than small business employers) need to assess whether any existing casual employees (employed before 27 March 2021), are eligible to be offered to convert to permanent employment.

The employer will need to:

  • make a written offer to convert their casual employee to permanent employment (which must be done within 21 days after making the assessment), or
  • write to their employee explaining why they won’t be making an offer (which also must be done within 21 days of making the assessment buy by no later than 27 September 2021).

More information is available on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website and in the Casual Employment Information Statement.

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