Casuals may soon have rights to become permanent staff
In the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) 4 yearly review of modern awards, the FWC has developed a draft model for 85 modern awards to contain a provision which will allow casual employees to request full-time or part-time employment after 12 months of employment.
The model provision includes:
- a qualifying period of 12 calendar months;
- a qualifying criterion that the casual employee has over the qualifying period worked a pattern of hours on an ongoing basis which, without significant adjustment, could continue to be performed in accordance with the full-time or part-time employment provisions of the relevant award;
- the employer must provide all casual employees (whether they become eligible for conversion or not) with a copy of the casual conversion clause within the first 12 months after their initial engagement; and
- a conversion may be refused on the grounds that it would require a significant adjustment to the casual employee’s hours of work to accommodate them in full-time or part-time employment in accordance with the terms of the applicable modern award, or it is known or reasonably foreseeable that the casual employee’s position will cease to exist, or the employee’s hours of work will significantly change or be reduced within the next 12 months, or on other reasonable grounds based on facts which are known or reasonably foreseeable.
Although this provision is still in draft phase, the Full Bench will make its final determination later this month. Employers should prepare for these changes by seeking early advice and creating a process for dealing with employee requests.