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 Changes to the The Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) came into effect on the 27th of March 2021 and changed workplace rights and obligations for casual employees. The amendments to the Act introduced a definition of casual employment, a casual employment information statement (CEIS), a casual employee’s right to convert to full-time or part-time (permanent) employment and protections for employers against ‘double dipping’.


 As a business owner, it is important to keep up to date with the ever-changing requirements for employees. Read below to learn more including:

 

• What is the definition of a casual employee?

• What is a Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS)

• Does a Small Business Have to Offer Employees Casual Conversion?

• Assessing non-small business employees for casual conversion

• When a Request for Casual Conversion is made, What Must be Considered?

• How Does an Employer offer or accept a request for casual conversion?

• The importance of staying up to date and have procedures in place regarding your obligations for casual employees

 

WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF A CASUAL EMPLOYEE?

 

The Fair Work Act has been amended to include a statutory definition of a “casual employee”. This is a person who is offered employment without a “firm advanced commitment to continuing and indefinite work” and accepts that offer.

 

In other words, a person is a casual employee if they accept a job offer from an employer knowing that there is no firm advance commitment to ongoing work with an agreed pattern of work.

 

WHAT IS A CASUAL EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION STATEMENT (CEIS)

 

Employers now must give all new casual employees a Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS) before, or as soon as possible after, they start their new job. This outlines who is a casual employee, the right to become a permanent employee (casual conversion), casual conversion requirements and what to do if there is a disagreement.

 

Small business employers must give their existing casual employees a copy of the CEIS as soon as possible after the 27th of March 2021. Other employers must give their existing casual employees a copy of the CEIS as soon as possible after the 27th of September 2021.

 

DOES A SMALL BUSINESS HAVE TO OFFER EMPLOYEES CASUAL CONVERSION?

 

Regarding a casual employee’s right to convert to permanent employment, there are different obligations for small business and non-small business.  A small businesses employer, which is one with less than 15 employees at a particular time, does not have to offer their casuals a conversion, but must, as soon as possible, give their existing casual employees a copy of the CEIS. If they meet the requirements, an employee of a small businesses can request casual conversion to their employer. While small businesses are under no obligation to offer casual conversion, they are obligated to consider a request.

 

ASSESSING NON-SMALL BUSINESS EMPLOYEES FOR CASUAL CONVERSION

 

For non-small business, every casual employee employed as of 27th March 2021 will need to be assessed. There will be a transitional period ending on the 27th of September 2021, during which you must conduct the Assessment Process. After the 27th of September, all non-small businesses must offer conversion to any casual who has been working for 12 months and a regular pattern for 6 months. As per the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) an employer has to offer their casual employee to convert to full-time or part-time (permanent) when the employee has worked for their employer for 12 months, has worked a regular pattern of hours for at least the last 6 of those months on an ongoing basis, could continue working those hours as a permanent employee without significant changes.

 

WHEN A REQUEST FOR CASUAL CONVERSION IS MADE, WHAT MUST BE CONSIDERED?

 

For all businesses when a request for conversion is made the following elements must be considered:

 

• Have they been employed for 12 months?

• Have they worked a regular pattern?

• For non-small business, are there reasonable grounds for not making the offer?

• For small business, are there reasonable grounds for not accepting the request?

 

Employees can be eligible for conversion even if they have worked a small number of hours if these hours have been worked on a regular basis for 6 out of the last 12 months of service. Generally, if employees work the same number of hours per week (or per pay period), on the same days and same times, this will be a regular pattern of hours.

 

LOOKING FOR A BOOKKEEPER IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA? BOOKKEEPING MATTERS ARE YOUR LOCAL PROFESSIONALS

 

At Bookkeeping Matters we understand how hard it is to juggle every aspect of your business. We empower small to medium sized businesses to focus on their passion, while we help take care of your bookkeeping needs.

 

Free up time for your business and call June at Bookkeeping Matters today on 0423 003 552.

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