Retail Worker

07 Jul Casual workers can now request permanent employment after 12 months

Casual workers will be given the right to convert to part-time or full-time employment, subject to certain criteria, the Fair Work Commission announced yesterday.

In a four-yearly review of modern awards, the Fair Work Commission has largely accepted that all modern awards should include a casual conversion clause.

Workers in the hospitality, retail, manufacturing and agriculture industries are among those covered by the judgment.

This change is designed to give casual employees (who are effectively permanent but miss out on entitlements such as sick leave, annual leave and other benefits) greater job security.

The bench proposed a model clause for all awards, which would:

  • provide for a qualifying period of 12 calendar months;
  • require that the casual employee has worked a pattern of hours on an ongoing basis over the
    .   ..qualifying period that, without significant adjustment, could continue to be performed and;
  • obligate the employer to provide all casual employees with a copy of the casual conversion clause
    ……within the first 12 months of their initial engagement.


Employers can refuse the request on reasonable grounds, including that it would require a significant adjustment to a casual employee’s hours of work or they could foresee their position would no longer exist in the next 12 months.

Checkside recommends that business owners review their casual working arrangements in line with this review and track the length of employment and the patterns of hours worked for casual employees.

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