When is a Casual a Permanent Employee

When is a casual a permanent employee (entitled to full-time employee benefits on top of their casual loading)? Well, that has just got a lot tougher to decide.

Recently, the Federal Court has decided in favour of a casual employee that he was entitled to a holiday pay etc. on top of his casual loading. The case related to Mr Skene, who was employed by Workpac Pty Ltd.

His job was as a driver of dump trucks at a coal mine and he was employed on a fly-in, fly-out basis. His signed letter of engagement clearly stated that he was employed on a casual basis. The workplace agreement gave no definition of a full-time employee.

Similarly, the Fair Work Act contains no definition of what a casual employee is.

The two primary factors that drove the Court’s decision:

  • He worked consistent hours over a two-year period.
  • He had no say in what hours he worked.

Workpac Pty Ltd is not appealing to the High Court and therefore this now effectively a law.

It is imperative that the government would look into resolving this matter as there are effectively billions of dollars at stake and the future of many casual employees. As an employer, you need to look into the regularity of your casual employment as you could be at risk.

Further reading

Mybusiness article 1

Mybusiness article 2

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