Employment, Discrimination and Equality Law 15 March 2024

Changes to Casual Employment

The Closing Loopholes No.2 Act is standing up for casual workers. The Act amends the definition of casual employee in the Fair Work Act.

The Act keeps the concept that a casual employee is someone who has no firm advance commitment to continuing or indefinite work, but like the back to the future circumstances involved in determining an employment relationship, assessing casual employment will again require a multifactorial, objective consideration of the ‘real substance and practical reality and true nature of the relationship, not just what is in the employment contract.

Alongside the new definition sits an anti-avoidance framework to stamp out sham contracting. Civil penalties apply.

New Employee Choice Framework

More onerous casual conversion provisions have been removed and replaced with a similar but new ‘employee choice’ framework. Employees who have worked for at least 6 months (12 months for a small business) can choose to notify their employer that they believe they are no longer a casual employee.

Employers have 21 days to respond to an employee notification and may refuse the request on fair and reasonable operational grounds.

The Fair Work Commission will be able to help resolve disputes about casual status, including by arbitration.

Remember to provide the Casual Information Statement

Employers must continue to provide casuals with a Casual Employment Information Statement, but this is now required at specified and regular intervals to ensure employees are reminded of their rights and ability to change to permanent work.

The changes will commence on 26 August 2024.

Please contact our Employment, Discrimination and Equality team for more information.

Kate Rowland.
Kate Rowland Law Graduate Corporate & Commercial View profile
Alexandra Gronow.
Alexandra Gronow Special Counsel Employment, Discrimination & Equality Law View profile
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