A recent court decision has thrown the nature of casual employment into question and is causing employers to re-evaluate the use of casual workers.
In May this year, the Full Federal Court handed down an important decision (WorkPac Pty Ltd v Rossato) which in effect means that employers cannot rely on the 25% loading or above award payments to offset leave entitlements for casual workers. In practical terms this means that despite having received a 25% loading or any above award rates, casual employees could still be entitled to payment for accrued leave and public holidays.
A casual employee has no firm commitment of future work or guarantee of days or hours they will work. This means that future rostered hours and regular shifts are characteristics of workers who are not considered to be casual. This recent WorkPac decision means that where workers employment arrangements do not meet the criteria for “casual” classification, above award payments and loadings that have already been paid, cannot be off set against the accrued entitlements.
WorkPac is appealing the decision but until the decision is overturned or the Federal government changes legislation, the present interpretation of “casual” will apply. In the meantime, it is worth reviewing terms in employment agreements, checking casual work patterns and offering conversion to permanency where possible. If you would like to discuss if this issue will impact your business contact Mel Blondell, RedSeed Productivity Strategists by email or 0401 614 518.