1 October 2018

From 1 October 2018 “regular” casual employees who are covered by a Modern Award will have the right request their employer to have their casual employment converted to full-time or part-time employment

A regular casual employee is defined as a casual employee who has worked a set regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis with the employer for the previous 12 months, and could expect to continue to perform as a full-time or part-time worker.

Eligibility

The entitlement applies to regular casual workers who have worked full-time hours over the preceding 12 months and to casual workers who have worked less than full-time hours over the preceding 12 months.

Entitlement

A regular casual employee who has worked full-time hours or part-time hours during the preceding 12 month period may request their employment to be converted to full-time employment or part-time employment respectively.

There is no obligation on a casual employee to convert to full-time to part time employment and there is no requirement for an employer to require a regular casual employee to convert their employment.

Requesting conversion to full-time or part-time employment

The request must be made in writing and provided to the employer and the employer may agree to or refuse the request.  If the employer agrees to the request, the employer must state in writing the type of employment that the casual employment is being converted to, the pattern of hours to be worked in the case of part-time employment and the date when the conversion will take effect.

Refusal of a request for conversion may only be made on reasonable grounds and after consultation with the employee.  Reasonable grounds for refusal include:

  • Significant changes to the casual employee’s hours to accommodate the request (i.e. the employee is not truly a regular casual)
  • The employer knows or can forsee that:
    • the regular casual employee’s position will cease to exist within the next 12 months; or
    • the regular casual employee’s hours of work will be significantly reduced in the next 12 months; or
    • there will be a significant change in the days and/or times at which the employee’s hours of work are required to be performed in the next 12 months which cannot be accommodated within the days and/or hours during which the employee is available to work.

The employer must provide the regular casual employee with reasons for refusal in writing within 21 days of the request being made.

A casual employee who has converted to full-time or part-time employment can only revert back to casual employment with the written agreement of the employer. 

What employers must do:

  • Modern Awards require employers to provide all casual employees who are covered by an Award, whether or not they are a regular casual employee, with a copy of the casual conversion clause in the applicable award within 12 months of their first engagement of work.
  • For casual employees who are already employed as of 1 October 2018, the employer must provide the casual employee with a copy of the casual conversion clause by 1 January 2019.