New legislation providing provisions for a clearer definition of casual employment in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) have come into effect from 27 March 2021. The Fair Work Commission (FWC) will now review and amend modern awards to ensure they are consistent and operate effectively within the amended Act.
The legislation made four amendments:
Inserting a statutory definition of casual employment
Create a National Employment Standard (NES) entitlements for casuals to request conversion to permanent employment
Provide a mechanism for setting off casual loading against claims for paid NES entitlements
Make provision for resolution of disputes, transitional arrangements, and the issuing of a Casual Employee Information (CEI) Statement to casuals
The six awards are that are being reviewed first are:
General Retail Industry Award 2020
Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020
Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2020
Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2020
Pastoral Award 2020
Fire Fighting Industry Award 2020
What this means for your business:
Employers have been given until 27 September 2021 to assess existing employees and renegotiate their contracts to ensure compliance with the Amendments.
If the employee meets the eligibility requirements and there are reasonable grounds, the employer must offer conversion to permanent employment. Employers must also issue new casuals with a Casual Employment Information (CEI) Statement, to inform them of their entitlements to request casual conversion.