September 30, 2021

Converting Casual Staff to Permanent

The 27th of September was a big day for Casuals…. It was the “Deadline” (for want of a better word however  - I’ve only had half my coffee so couldn’t think of one) to be offered the opportunity to convert to permanent employment.  

We’ve had a heap of calls about this, and we really want to clear up a few worries that some of our Employers have around the Casual Conversion process.

I can’t offer them 38 hours, if I have to offer 38 hours my business will go broke, what do I do?

First of all, it’s all ok. The media will have you believing that as an Employer you don’t have any options, and that you have to offer your casuals full time work. That is simply not true, its all good you can breathe. What you do need to offer is permanency if you have employees that have been working consistently for a period of either 6 or 12 months (depending on your Award), and it is reasonable to assume that the work will be ongoing ie the contract is not about to finish.

Example: Bill is a machinery operator and for the past 12 months he has worked two 10-hour days on a Monday and Tuesday every week. You would need to offer Bill the option of transitioning to a part time staff member working the same hours, he would lose the casual 25% loading however he will be eligible for annual leave, personal leave and get paid for public holidays that fall on the Monday and Tuesday.

I can’t offer regular and consistent hours to my part time staff, what do I do?

This one we really sympathise with. It is so difficult for some industries to offer regular hours and some changes have been made to Awards such as the Restaurant Industry Award to take this into consideration.  Unfortunately, most Awards require the regular pattern of work agreed to in writing before commencement, this makes it challenging to be able to offer permanent employment. We recommend that you give us a call and talk through your situation so we can give tailored advise for your business.  

My staff don’t want to go permanent, casual suits them.

There is no way to get around the casual conversion requirements  - but remember the requirement is that you offer them permanent employment.  We find that a lot of staff like to be casual as it suits them and they don’t want to lose their 25% loading.  Key word here is to offer (in writing), your staff do not have to accept, nor do you have to convert them. It’s important to have it documented correctly.

There are lots more questions, but I guess the point of our article is that it isn’t all doom and gloom.  Take a step back, follow the process and generally the result works for both parties.  If you are unsure of what documentation is required, or the process that you are required to follow, please reach out and have a chat to one of our team.  We are here to help you navigate the requirements.

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