Casual Clauses in Modern Awards Updated

The Fair Work Commission has recently updated the casual employment terms (clauses) in 151 Modern Awards to bring them in to line with the changes to legislation that were introduced earlier this year.


Read on for a recap on what changed, what’s changed in Modern Award and what steps employers should be taking now.


A RECAP ON WHAT CHANGED IN MARCH 2021


a. A New Definition of Casual Employment

An individual will be considered a casual employee when an offer of employment is made on the basis that the employer makes no firm advance commitment to continuing and indefinite work according to an agreed pattern of work...”.


The person must accept the offer on that basis and be an Employee as a result of acceptance. The assessment of the definition takes place at the offer and acceptance of employment stage and relies on what is noted in the employment contract.


b. New Casual Conversion Requirements & Entitlements

That is, converting casuals to permanent employment after 12 months of service, in some circumstances. These entitlements are now included in the National Employment Standards (NES).


c. Casual Loading Offset (no more double dipping)

Where a court determines that a casual Employee should have been permanent, any back payments or entitlements owing to them (for annual leave, public holidays etc.), may be reduced (offset) by the 25% casual loading already paid to them. Note that this reduction must be requested and relies on the employment contract containing a suitable set-off clause.


d. New Casual Employment Information Statement

Must be provided to all new and existing casual Employees in addition to the Fair Work Information Statement you should already be providing. This is available on the Fair Work website – here.


You can read more about these changes to casual employment by reading our Changes to Casual Employment – A Practical Guide for Employers


WHAT CHANGES CAN I EXPECT TO SEE IN MODERN AWARDS?


Changes will vary from award to award, however, the Fair Work Commission has given examples of what some of these changes may look like:

  • Adding the new definition of casual employment;

  • Referring to the new casual conversion provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009, if the current award clauses aren’t as beneficial or operate differently;

  • Removing any requirements for employers to specify hours or likely hours for casual employees.


WHAT SHOULD EMPLOYERS DO NOW?

  • Review and understand the casual provisions in the modern awards that apply to your employees;

  • If you have an enterprise agreement, you should review this to ensure it is in line with the changes made in the modern award;

  • Ensure your employment agreement, policies and procedures are up to date with the casual changes;

  • Bring yourself up to speed with all of the 2021 requirements by reading our Changes to Casual Employment – A Practical Guide for Employers.


As always, the team at Edwards HR are here to answer your questions and provide support across all areas of HR.


You can reach our team on the details below or book a time to visit us at our new offices in Acacia Ridge.


Emma Edwards – 0459 818 011 or emma@edwardshr.com.au

Alicia Hansen – 0497 497 342 or alicia@edwardshr.com.au


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