Whether you’re searching for a new casual job or experiencing problems at your current workplace, understanding what your employment status means is critical for protecting your rights at work. Your entitlements change depending on your type of employment, so it’s important to be aware exactly what it means to be a part-time or casual worker.
Part-time workersA permanent part-time employee is someone who works regular and ongoing hours, but fewer hours a week than someone working full-time.
Generally, you'll be a part-time employee if:
- You work less than 38 hours a week
- You have a regular pattern of hours, or
- You're a permanent employee or on a fixed-term contract.
Casual workersAlthough there's no definition of ‘casual’ in Australia's employment legislation, it’s generally assumed to mean someone who works as required by their employer. This means casual employees aren’t guaranteed regular hours or ongoing employment, and are instead retained on an 'as needs' basis.
Generally, you'll be a casual employee if:
- You don’t have weekly guaranteed hours
- You usually work irregular hours, and
- You don’t receive sick leave or annual leave.
Instead of the usual entitlements of full and part-time employees, casual workers are entitled to receive a higher rate of pay. This is sometimes referred to as ‘casual loading’, and effectively compensates casual workers for not having benefits such as holiday entitlements and sick leave.
Importantly, a casual employee can change to full-time or part-time employment at any time if the employer offers it, and the employee agrees. Some Modern Awards include casual conversion clauses where casual employees can apply to be converted to permanent employment.
After 12 months of regular and systematic employment, and if there's a reasonable expectation that this will continue, a long term casual employee can also:
- Request flexible working arrangements, and
- Take parental leave.
Shine Lawyers - Your employment law expertsUnderstanding your rights and entitlements as an employee can be difficult.
At Shine Lawyers, we have a specialist team of employment lawyers who can assess your situation, and provide individually tailored legal solutions to resolve your workplace dispute. If you’re experiencing difficulties in your place of work, get in touch and start your claim today.
Written by Shine Lawyers on March 13, 2018. Last modified: September 26, 2018.