Casual Conversion – what does it mean for employees and employers?

Starting on Monday 1st October, a casual employee who has worked a similar pattern of hours for at least 12 months can ask for their position to become permanent. The Fair Work Commission’s ruling applies to both part-time and full-time casual employees and provides those in potentially precarious positions with greater financial stability week-on-week. It also provides them with access to benefits such as sick leave and paid annual leave.

‘Casual conversion’ is not automatic. A casual employee must make their request in writing, and an employer may refuse the request on reasonable grounds. The position may not exist in 12 months, for example, or there might be a change in working hours and days which will not suit the current employee. Any refusal on the part of the employer must be provided in writing within 21 days of the employee’s date of request.

For now – and definitely before 1st January 2019 – employers should provide all existing casual employees with a copy of the conversion clause in the relevant Modern Award. They should also ensure that any new casual employee receives a copy within 12 months of their first day at work.

The new ruling does not apply to all Modern Awards. For a list of the Awards affected by the 1st October 2018 changes, click here. Please also note that some Awards, e.g. in manufacturing, already contained a casual conversion clause prior to this date.

At Optimal Recruitment, we provide casual, temp-to-perm and permanent staffing solutions. To discuss your needs in more detail, please give one of our friendly team a call on 02 8416 4181.