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  • Tim Mellifont

Casual Employee Rights: What You Need To Know

Navigating the casual award can be a nightmare for many businesses. Big or small, there are many nuances which even the most successful businesses struggle to get right.

To help out, we’ve put together a brief guide of what you need to know to not only read but to understand the award and how the experienced team at Tribe can help avoid the pitfalls and breach Australia’s workplace laws.

Casual employees, by definition, can be employed without a job guarantee on either an hourly, daily or weekly basis. Reaching an agreement can be supported by the Tribe team, as both employer and employee must agree.

The National Employment Standards (NES) ensure casual workers are covered for things such as carer’s leave and compassionate leave - both of which are unpaid, alongside community service leave and public holiday leave. NES state that the casual employee can work no more than 38 hours per week, which means if you have casual employees on your roster there are a few things to check off. Tribe’s experienced team can make sure nothing is missed under the NES.

Additionally, ensuring casual employees access parental leave (if they’ve been employed for 12 months by the same employer on a regular and/or systematic basis and can reasonably expect future employment) is another of those tricky to navigate circumstances that the Tribe team can iron out for you.

Like all employed Australians over the age of 18, casual employees are eligible for superannuation - provided they earn beyond the threshold of $450 per calendar month and work more than 30 hours per week. The difficulty around casual employment is that as those given hours may fluctuate from week to week, so too does the superannuation contribution. Tribe can ensure that the correct superannuation contributions are paid, so no one is left out of pocket.

One of the most misunderstood elements of casual employment - and where working with Tribe can really make an impact - is providing pathways from casual to permanent employment, and transitioning an employee to permanent employment.

Under the NES casual employees are entitled to access a pathway to become a permanent employee, so it is in the employers best interest to clearly define and identify the pathways for their casual employees. This assists in not only meeting the NES and Fairwork requirements but will support employee retention and help to build a strong, committed workforce - which is, at the end of the day, what we’re all working towards.

Hopefully, this guide has clarified a few of the most confusing elements of the casual award. If you’d like to reach out to Tribe to help you support casual employees please do, we’d love to chat about how we can help you.

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