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An Update on Casual Conversion Clauses in Modern Awards

Assisted by Kristina Tato.

Casual Conversion Clause

The Fair Work Commission has now finalised the text for the casual conversion clause, which is to be inserted into 84 modern awards which did not already have a casual conversion clause.  Please click here for a list of these awards.

The new clause will allow casual employees who fit the requirements to request that their employment be converted to either full, or part-time employment. 

The casual conversion clause requires:

  • The employee in question to have served a 12-month qualifying period;
  • That the employee must work either a pattern, or hours which would fit within the definition of either part or full-time work under the award, without requiring significant adjustment; and
  • That the employer must provide the employee with a copy of the casual conversion clause within their first 12 months;

It is important to note that the casual conversion may be refused if the position will cease to exist, or if the hours of work will change significantly within the next 12 months – or on other reasonable grounds.

The full finalised casual conversion clause can be found here.

Notice to casual employees

The casual conversion clause requires that a copy of the provisions of this subclause be given to the casual employee within the first 12 months of employment (from when they are first engaged to perform work).

It is crucial that employers are aware that by 1 January 2019, a copy of the provisions of this subclause must be given to all casual employees who were employed as of 1 October 2018, so as to ensure that the employee is given proper notice.

Current modern awards

Australia does have 28 modern awards which already have a casual conversion clause – please click here for a full list of these awards.

If you as an employee are covered by one of these awards, Coleman Greig suggests that you take the time to check the terms of the clause (which are often overlooked) and take on the notification steps required to convert from a casual employee.

A heightened level of interest in issues surrounding casual employment does mean that this area is likely to attract more attention, and from a legal perspective it is always desirable to be in compliance before questions are raised!

If you have a query relating to any of the information in this piece, or you require assistance with regard to casual conversion, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Coleman Greig’s Employment Law team.

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