Are you in VIC? If not, please change below.

In your state, you are required to confirm you wish to access this information. Please enter 'QLD' or 'WA' in the field below to continue.

No thanks

Don’t become a Christmas casual statistic

Woman taking an order at a coffee shop | Shine Lawyers

Will Barsby | Shine Lawyers Written by:
Will Barsby
National Special Counsel - Consumer Dispute Resolution

The festive season can be a great opportunity for everyone to earn some extra cash by taking on a second job as a Christmas casual. With just over two months until Christmas, now is the time we see retailers advertising for casuals to keep up with the holiday season demand.

What it means to be a casual employee

Being a casual employee is different to a full time or permanent employee. Generally, you will be a casual employee if:

  • You don’t receive sick leave or annual leave entitlements
  • You don’t have weekly guaranteed hours
  • You work both irregular and regular hours, and
  • You can be fired or quit without having to give notice.

busy-coffee-shop

Higher wages for casual workers

If you’re a casual employee, you’re entitled to receive a higher rate of pay than someone who is employed permanent or full time. In effect, this is to compensate you for not having similar rights such as sick and annual leave benefits. This is sometimes referred to as ‘casual loading’.

Your rights as a casual

Unfortunately, Christmas is also the time of year we see workers’ rights exploited, particularly when it comes to casual employees. Depending on your award, rate of pay or contract, you may be entitled to:

  • Overtime or penalty rates
  • Meal allowances, and
  • Travel allowances.

Often, we see instances where an employee works a 10-hour day, but only gets paid for seven. This is unlawful. Your employer is required to provide you with a payslip that details the hours you’ve worked, and the amount of money you’re being paid, including the amount of tax deducted.

woman-serves-coffee

Receive the pay you deserve

As a casual, keeping track of the hours you work can be confusing. To ensure you’re paid correctly, it’s a good idea to:

  1. Keep a personal diary detailing the hours you work each day, noting exact start and finishing times
  2. Match your diary with your payslip each week to ensure it adds up

If it looks like you’ve been paid incorrectly, politely raise the issue with your employer. This gives them the opportunity to rectify the situation.

If your employer fails to correct your pay, or suddenly stops giving you hours after you’ve raised the issue, you should seek legal advice immediately.

Shine Lawyers – Resolve your employment dispute

Understanding your rights and entitlements as an employee can be difficult, especially for casual workers. At Shine Lawyers, we have a specialist team of employment lawyers who can assess your situation, and provide individually tailored legal solutions. If you’re experiencing difficulties in your place of work, get in touch and start your claim today.

Related articles:

Written by Will Barsby on . Last modified: October 13, 2017.

Join the discussion

Share this article:

There are 0 comments. Be the first!

A win for casual employees – Federal Court hand down decision

In August of this year, the Full Federal Court handed down a decision in Workpac Pty Ltd v Skene [2018] FCAFC 131, which is a great win for casual employees in Australia. Following the landmark decision, ‘permanent casual’ employees may be eligible to claim those entitlements that arise out of a typical full-time employment relationship. […]

Read more

My rights in the #MeToo Movement

The #MeToo movement has recently shined a light on the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace. A recent study conducted by Shine Lawyers revealed that 19% of women surveyed had been sexually harassed at work. The #MeToo movement has proven to give a voice to victims of unacceptable and unlawful behaviour, who in many […]

Read more