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Are your casual employees hitting their 12 month anniversary?


Casual employees can now request permanent roles

You may have heard in the news that there are new rules related to casual employees and their 12 month anniversary. The Casual employee must have worked regular hours (eg same days / times) for the employee to be entitled to request a permanent position.

We believe there’s not been enough information for small business employers to help them understand this new change, which is why we’ve created this episode.

There are 4 reasons why an employer deny a permanent role request, being:

1. A permanent role will require an adjustment to hours

2. The hours will cease within 12 months

3. The hours will reduce within 12 months

4. There will be changes to hours / days required within 12 months

We explore all in more detail below.


Fair Work Australia released new guidelines for Casual employees on 5th July 2017. If a casual employee works regular hours for 12 months or more, they are now entitled to request a permanent position which will include annual leave and personal leave entitlements.

We’ve heard a lot of worry from some small business owners who rely heavily on casual employees that they’ll have to find permanent positions for their employees. This concerns them because of the leave entitlements and if they have to ‘let go’ an employee due to changes in circumstances, the additional financial burden this will create.

There are however, four legitimate reasons that an employer can deny a permanent position. They include:

1. Requires adjustment to hours

If moving the employee to a permanent position will require a significant adjustment to the employee’s hours of work in order to engage a part-time or full-time position under the relevant award, the employer can deny the permanent position request.  

For example, some awards require minimum shift times for full time and part time employees v casual employees. Casual employees often times can come in for shorter shifts than permanent employees who need a full work shift to be rostered on. 

2. Hours will cease in 12 months

If the employer can show that they know or reasonably forsee that the employee’s regular hours of work will cease in the next 12 months, the employer can deny the permanent position request.

This could be due to a client contract ending or an impending business restructure (that may not yet be public knowledge).

3. Hours will reduce in 12 months 

If the employer can show that they know or reasonably forsee that the employee’s regular hours of work will significantly reduce in the next 12 months, the employer can deny the permanent position request.

This could be due to an impending business restructure (that may not yet be public knowledge) or changes in the overall market (eg large local businesses shutting down / reducing their work and the flow on effect in your business).

4. Change in days / times in next 12 months

If the employer can show that they know or reasonably forsee that the employee’s regular days or hours of work required will change over the coming 12 months, and that the employee is not available on those new days required, the employer can deny the permanent position request.

This may include changes to your business opening days / times and the employee is not available for those changed working days. This is particularly relevant to businesses who go from being open Monday – Friday and then swapping to be open during weekends. 

For more information, refer to the Fair Work Website here


After 12 months regular service, casual employees can ask for permanent positions but it isn’t a ‘done deal. There is guidance for employers on when they must convert the employment.

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