Employment and Workplace Relations update: Deadline looms for employers to comply with new casual conversion provisionsSep 22, 2021
Employers with 15 or more employees at a particular time have until Monday 27 September 2021 to comply with the new casual conversion provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
Specifically, employers with existing casual employees who were employed before 27 March 2021 must assess whether they are eligible to be offered to convert to permanent employment. Employers who have not completed the process by the 27 September 2021 deadline risk non-compliance.
If an employer decides to offer to convert a casual employee to permanent employment (even if employed before the commencement of the amendments), the employer must give the casual employee a written offer within 21 days of the date of the assessment (but no later than 27 September 2021).
What is the eligibility criteria?
For a casual employee to be offered permanent employment they must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- employed by the employer for 12 months;
- have worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis for at least the last 6 months; and
- could continue working these hours as a full-time or part-time employee without significant adjustment.
What if the employer decides not to make an offer?
If a casual employee does not satisfy the eligibility criteria above, an employer may decide not to make an offer in which case the employer must notify the employee in writing within 21 days of their eligibility that they will not be making them an offer and provide an explanation as to why not. The explanation could include which criteria the casual employee has not met such as there being ‘reasonable grounds’ to not make the offer.
Can a casual employee request to become a full-time or a part-time employee?
Casual employees can also request to become a full-time or a part-time employee after 27 September 2021 unless in the period of 6 months before the request being made:
- the employee has refused an offer of casual conversion from the employer;
- the employer has given the employee notice that casual conversion will not be offered on reasonable grounds; or
- the employer has refused a request for casual conversion by the employee.
Employer obligations after 27 September 2021
After 27 September 2021, employers have an ongoing obligation to offer casual conversion for eligible employees. Employers must assess all casual employees who are approaching 12 months of employment and provide them with written notice detailing the outcome of their assessment.
For more information and advice on making an offer to casual employees, responding to a casual employee's request to become part-time of full-time employee, or assistance with drafting notices, please contact a member of our Employment and Workplace Relations team:
D +61 3 8600 8829
D +61 3 8600 8825
D +61 3 8600 8849
This Employment and Workplace Relations update was authored by Nadeem Hekmat, Associate.
Note: This update is a guide only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.