Casual workers have won the right to demand a permanent full-time or part-time job after 12 months under a landmark Fair Work Commission ruling.
But employers will still have the right to refuse the request if the change would substantially alter the worker’s hours to accommodate them as a permanent staff member; it is known or reasonably foreseeable that the casual employee’s position will cease to exist; or the employee’s hours of work will significantly change or be reduced within the next 12 months; or on other reasonable grounds based on facts which are known or reasonably foreseeable.
The Fair Work Commission said it was necessary for modern awards to contain a provision allowing casual employees to ask for conversion to permanent full-time or part-time work after 12 months.
The decision will apply to 80+ modern awards that do not contain such a provision.
“If the casual employment turns out to be long-term in nature, and to be of sufficient regularity … then we consider it to be fair and necessary for the employee to have access to a mechanism by which the casual employment may be converted to an appropriate form of permanent employment,” the full bench found.
The decision will allow a casual worker to convert to part-time or full-time employment if:
- a qualifying period of 12 calendar months is met;
- the casual employee must have worked a pattern of hours on an ongoing basis over the 12 month period which could continue to be worked on a full-time or part-time basis without significant adjustment
- the employer must provide all casual employees with a copy of the casual conversion clause within the first 12 months after their initial engagement.
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