12 July 2017
The Fair Work Commission has determined that casual workers covered by 85 of the approximately 120 federal Modern Awards will be given the right to request permanent employment if they work regular hours over a year.
As part of the never-ending review of the Modern Award system, various unions launched a claim seeking the mandatory conversion of all casual employees to permanent positions after 6 months’ regular work with one employer.
However, the Commission has determined to give employees across a range of industries and occupations the right to request full or part-time employment status after 12 months. The qualifying criteria for permanency is that the work performed by the casual employee has been of such a pattern and regularity over the previous 12 months, that without ‘significant adjustment’, the work could continue under full-time or part-time terms of a relevant Award.
Numerous federal Awards already contain provisions requiring employers to offer casual employees conversion to permanent employment after six months. Those Awards will not have their pre-existing casual conversion clause varied because of the Commission’s decision.
What do Employers need to do?
At the time of writing, the Commission has created a draft model provision clause for inclusion into those 85 Awards. Such a draft clause is not yet settled and has not yet been interleaved into those Awards. It is not expected those Awards will be varied until at least August this year.
When finalised, employers will be responsible for providing their casual employees with a copy of the conversion clause contained within the relevant Award before the completion of the first 12 months of engagement.
Employers will be able to refuse the request on “reasonable grounds”. Such grounds will include that permanency would require a significant adjustment to a casual employee’s hours of work or the employer can ‘foresee’ the position would no longer exist in the next 12 months.
Employers should remember that casual employees who do wish to convert to a permanent status should be advised that, as a result, casual loading (usually somewhere between 17 to 25%) will no longer be payable upon becoming a permanent employee. If the employee chooses not to become permanent we recommend employers capture both the required offer and the non-acceptance in writing for evidential purposes if the issue is queried later.
Which Awards Are Affected
Subject to final submissions and review by the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission, the following list of 85 Awards will have a casual conversion clause interleaved:
1. Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services Award 2010 [MA000115]
2. Aged Care Award 2010 [MA000018]
3. Air Pilots Award 2010 [MA000046]
4. Aircraft Cabin Crew Award 2010 [MA000047]
5. Airline Operations-Ground Staff Award 2010 [MA000048]
6. Airport Employees Award 2010 [MA000049]
7. Aluminium Industry Award 2010 [MA000060]
7. Ambulance and Patient Transport Industry Award 2010 [MA000098]
9. Amusement, Events and Recreation Award 2010 [MA000080]
10. Animal Care and Veterinary Services Award 2010 [MA000118]
11. Aquaculture Industry Award 2010 [MA000114]
12. Architects Award 2010 [MA000079]
13. Banking, Finance and Insurance Award 2010 [MA000019]
14. Book Industry Award 2010 [MA000078]
15. Broadcasting and Recorded Entertainment Award 2010 [MA000091]
16. Business Equipment Award 2010 [MA000021]
17. Car Parking Award 2010 [MA000095]
18. Cemetery Industry Award 2010 [MA000070]
19. Children’s Services Award 2010 [MA000120]
20. Cleaning Services Award 2010 [MA000022]
21. Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010 [MA000002]
22. Coal Export Terminals Award 2010 [MA000045]
23. Commercial Sales Award 2010 [MA000083]
24. Contract Call Centres Award 2010 [MA000023]
25. Corrections and Detention (Private Sector) Award 2010 [MA000110]
26. Dredging Industry Award 2010 [MA000085]
27. Dry Cleaning and Laundry Industry Award 2010 [MA000096]
28. Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award 2010 [MA000076]
29. Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2010 [MA000077]
30. Electrical Power Industry Award 2010 [MA000088]
31. Fast Food Industry Award 2010 [MA000003]
32. Fitness Industry Award 2010 [MA000094]
33. Funeral Industry Award 2010 [MA000105]
34. Gardening and Landscaping Services Award 2010 [MA000101]
35. Gas Industry Award 2010 [MA000061]
36. General Retail Industry Award 2010 [MA000004]636
37. Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010 [MA000005]
38. Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010 [MA000027]
39. Horticulture Award 2010 [MA000028]
40. Hydrocarbons Field Geologists Award 2010 [MA000064]
41. Hydrocarbons Industry (Upstream) Award 2010 [MA000062]
42. Journalists Published Media Award 2010[MA000067]
43. Labour Market Assistance Industry Award 2010 [MA000099]
44. Legal Services Award 2010 [MA000116]
45. Live Performance Award 2010 [MA000081]
46. Local Government Industry Award 2010 [MA000112]
47. Marine Tourism and Charter Vessels Award 2010 [MA000093]
48. Marine Towage Award 2010 [MA000050]
49. Market and Social Research Award 2010 [MA000030]
50. Medical Practitioners Award 2010 [MA000031]
51. Mining Industry Award 2010 [MA000011]
52. Miscellaneous Award 2010 [MA000104]
53. Nursery Award 2010 [MA000033]
54. Nurses Award 2010 [MA000034]
55. Oil Refining and Manufacturing Award 2010 [MA000072]
56. Passenger Vehicle Transportation Award 2010 [MA000063]
57. Pastoral Award 2010 [MA000035]
58. Pest Control Industry Award 2010 [MA000097]
59. Pharmaceutical Industry Award 2010 [MA000069]
60. Port Authorities Award 2010 [MA000051]
61. Ports, Harbours and Enclosed Water Vessels Award 2010 [MA000052]
62. Poultry Processing Award 2010 [MA000074]
63. Professional Diving Industry (Industrial) Award 2010 [MA000108]
64. Professional Diving Industry (Recreational) Award 2010 [MA000109]
65. Professional Employees Award 2010 [MA000065]
66. Racing Clubs Events Award 2010 [MA000013]
67. Racing Industry Ground Maintenance Award 2010 [MA000014]
68. Rail Industry Award 2010 [MA000015]
69. Real Estate Industry Award 2010 [MA000106]
70. Restaurant Industry Award 2010 [MA000119]
71. Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2010 [MA000039]
72. Salt Industry Award 2010 [MA000107]
73. Seafood Processing Award 2010 [MA000068]
74. Security Services Industry Award 2010 [MA000016]
75. Silviculture Award 2010 [MA000040]
76. Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 [MA000100]
77. Sporting Organisations Award 2010 [MA000082]
78. State Government Agencies Administration Award 2010 [MA000121]
79. Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2010 [MA000084]
80. Supported Employment Services Award 2010 [MA000103]
81. Surveying Award 2010 [MA000066]
82. Telecommunications Services Award 2010 [MA000041]
83. Travelling Shows Award 2010 [MA000102]
84. Water Industry Award 2010 [MA000113]
85. Wool Storage, Sampling and Testing Award 2010 [MA000044
We will release further updates as we learn more in the Better HR HR Blog.
Charles Watson is a Senior HR Advisor with Better HR.
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