Employers, YES, you have heard correctly…

In the last week the Federal Court has made an unprecedented, landmark ruling confirming a casual mining worker employed by a labour-hire firm was entitled to be paid annual and sick leave entitlements. A decision that is likely to carry some heavy consequences.

As alarming as this is, please be aware, that this does not mean your casual employees will automatically be entitled to paid leave (or a backpay of entitlements), and we urge you not to sensationalise it. 

It should also be noted that this case was for a high paying job, with specific rostering requirements.

So, what does this mean & what do I do…

As employers, we need to understand what a true casual employee is.

Casuals do not have a firm commitment in advance from an employer about how long they will be employed for, or the days (or hours) they will work. A casual employee also does not have to commit to all work an employer might offer. Their hours are irregular, they are not entitled to paid sick or annual leave, their employment can end without notice and as compensation for this, are paid 25% more as ‘casual loading’.

 Link to Fair Work Casual Employment definition HERE!!

Businesses who currently employ casual workers on a regular basis – even if the days they work each week vary – are being advised to take immediate steps to reduce their potential liability due to this recent case.

We suggest employers use this as an opportunity to review all staffs employment status to determine if they should in fact be permanent part time rather than casual.

Please note that employees cannot be forced to accept permanent positions and in making the switch to part time employment will incur a 25% reduction in their weekly wage.

What happens next…

For now, so long as employers are taking steps to ensure their staff are employed correctly, we will have to wait and watch for further developments on the implications this decision is likely to have on current fair work legislation.

If you are unsure of anything, or need some reassurance, please call our office for a chat with our professional team on 5482 1266.

For more info, take a look at the this article from ABC News.
























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