Casual staff who have worked regular hours for at least one year may now request a permanent position. The ruling by the Fair Work Commission was implemented in October and is expected to provide casual staff with opportunities for permanent employment.
The hospitality industry is one of the biggest employers of casual employees, accounting for 20% of all casual staff in Australia. About 65% of employees in the food industry are casuals. The new rules allow employees to ask for full-time employment. Once permanent, they will be entitled to receive additional benefits and can request flexible working arrangements. Casual employees are those who don’t have a fixed number of work hours and who are not entitled to annual or sick leave. Some casual staff eventually become “long term casuals.”
Employers are now required to give a written notice to casual employees advising them that they can request full-time employment after 12 months. Casual workers may also ask for a full-time position even without receiving the written notice.
If an employee wants to request full-time employment, they must send a written request to their employer. Employers may refuse the request if the position will cease to exist in the following year; the staff member requesting a permanent position is not working regular hours; or that the employee’s availability for work may not suit the changes in the business operations that will occur the following year. The employer is required to give their reasons for refusing the request within 21 days of receipt of the request.
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