The Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Act 2021 (Cth) came into effect on 27 March 2021. The amendment to the National Employment Standards provided employers (with more than 15 employees) with a 6-month transition period. This means that by 27 September 2021, employers) will need to assess whether their existing casual employees (employed prior to 27 March 2021) are eligible to be offered to convert from casual to permanent employment.
In doing so, employers will need to either:
- Make a written offer to convert eligible casual employees to permanent employment within 21 days after making the assessment; or
- Provide a written refusal notice to casual employees explaining why they will not be making an offer of conversion by 27 September 2021.
Offer to Convert
In assessing whether to offer permanent employment to casual employees, employers will need to consider whether the employee:
- Has been employed by the employer for 12 months;
- Has worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis for the last 6 months; and
- Can continue working these hours as a full-time or part-time employee without significant changes.
Employees will need to respond to their employer within 21 days of receiving the offer to convert.
If an employee does not respond to an offer within this time frame, the employer may assume that the employee has declined the offer to convert.
Small Business Employers
Small business employers, being employers who employ less than 15 people, are not required to offer to convert eligible casual employees to permanent employment. However, eligible casual employees may request to convert to permanent employment at any time on or after their 12-month anniversary.
Casual Employment Information Statement
It should be noted that there is an obligation for all employers to provide a Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS) to new and existing casual employees.
If you employ more than 15 employees, you will need to assess whether to offer permanent employment to eligible casual employees by 27 September 2021.
Employers should also assess at this time their current employment contracts and whether the casual employee’s contract ought to be amended upon converting to a permanent arrangement.
If you would like to discuss this article or your circumstances, you are invited to contact the team at Long Saad Woodbridge Lawyers.
Important Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication.