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What’s happening with Casual Conversion?

by Seed People Consulting Team in General Update, SMB Support

Casual conversion Newcastle Hunter Valley HR advice

Last week the Fair Work Commission handed down a decision related to Casual Conversion provisions in Modern Awards. So what do you need to know about now?

What is it?

‘Casual Conversion’ allows for regular, systematic and long-term casual employees to apply for permanent employment. This is not a new concept, as a lot of older State based Awards contained a clause in this effect. The 2010 Modern Award introduction, however, removed this clause from most Modern Awards.

The Commission decision this week provides that a Casual Conversion clause will now be included in ALL Modern Awards.

What does this mean for us?

The draft model clause states that any casual employee who:

  • Has worked for a minimum 12 months’ with the same employer; AND
  • Who over that period, has worked a pattern of hours on an ongoing basis which could be performed as full-time or part-time employment;

has the right to apply for permanent employment.

Can I refuse a request for casual conversion?

Yes, employers have grounds to refuse such a request so long as it is based on the following:

  • A significant adjustment to the casual employee’s hours of work would be required to accommodate them in full-time or part-time employment;
  • It is known, or reasonably foreseeable, that the employee’s casual position will cease to exist;
  • The employee’s casual hours will significantly change or reduce in the next 12 months; or
  • It is reasonable in the circumstances based on facts which are known or reasonably foreseeable.

How would I convert a casual employee if I approved a casual conversion request?

Should you receive an application and wish to convert the casual employee to a permanent position, you will need to create a permanent offer of employment, including drafting a new employment contract with permanent terms and conditions for the employee to consider, accept and sign.

When do these changes to Awards take place?

Whilst the Commission has handed down this decision, the changes are not yet finalised and as such, do not yet apply. Seed People Consulting will update you with further updates, including effective dates of change, as they become available.

What else?

If you believe the introduction of this provision will impact your business or workforce when these provisions do come into play, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Seed People Consulting for advice specific to your situation.

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