The Fair Work Commission’s decision in July 2017 to vary 85 modern awards to include a casual conversion clause has become operative from 1 October 2018.
What do you need to know?
The casual conversion clause permits a regular casual employee to request that their employment be converted to full-time or part-time employment after working 12 months on an ongoing basis and throughout a regular pattern of hours.
Considering a request
An eligible employee must make their request in writing and provide this to their employer.
An employer is not under an obligation to accept the request if they have “reasonable grounds for refusal”.
Grounds of refusal that may be considered reasonable include where:
- a significant adjustment is required to be made to the casual employee’s hours of work so that they can be engaged as a part-time or full-time employee;
- the employee’s position won’t exist within the next 12 months;
- the hours of work the employee performs will be significantly reduced in the next 12 months; or
- there will be a significant change in the hours the employee is required to perform in the next 12 months which cannot be accommodated during the days and/or hours the employee is available to work.
If an employer decides to refuse such a request, they must provide the employee with written reasons within 21 days of the request being made.
What do you need to do?
Some awards already contain casual conversion provisions. If a modern award governs employees in your workplace, we recommend that you determine if your employees are going to be covered by this proposed clause. If they are, we suggest that you familiarise yourself with the proposed model clause and seek appropriate legal advice.
Employers must provide all existing casual employees (that are employed as at 1 October 2018) with a copy of the provisions of the clause by 1 January 2019. New casual employees must be provided with a copy of the clause within the first 12 months of their employment.
If you or your organisation require any further information on this proposed clause, please contact either Jessika Reghenzani or John Hayward from WGC Lawyers on (07) 4046 1124, for advice specific to your circumstances.