Major changes to casual employment laws mean that there are now casual conversion provisions under the National Employment Standards (NES) which came into effect from 27 September 2021.
In addition employers must also ensure each casual employee has been given the Casual Employment Information Statement as soon as is practicable.
What is ‘casual conversion’?
The NES now provide casual employees with a pathway to become a permanent employee. This is known as ‘casual conversion’.
Awards and enterprise agreements have contained casual conversion clauses for many years, but there was no entitlement to casual conversion in the Fair Work Act (FW Act) until 27 March 2021.
Under the NES the obligation to offer casual conversion differs for small business employers and businesses that are not small business employers.
Small business employers
A small business employer is defined as one that employs 14 or fewer employees. Small business employers have no obligation to offer casual conversion, but a casual employee employed by a small business can request to convert to permanent employment which is called a residual right to request conversion.
A business other than a small business
A business that has 15 or more employees has an obligation under the NES to offer casual conversion to eligible casual employees after their 12-month anniversary, unless there are reasonable grounds not to offer conversion.
Full details on eligibility criteria and the process to be followed are set out on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.