Award changes relating to casual employees

The Fair Work Commission has completed the task of inserting casual terms consistent with the National Employment Standards into 151 Modern Awards, including the Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award 2020 and the Clerks Private Sector Award 2020. 

Pursuant to Section 66B of the Fair Work Act, employers (other than ‘small business employers’) must make an offer in writing to casual employees to convert to permanent part-time or full-time work if:

  • the employee has been employed for 12 months and
  • during the last 6 months has worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis.

There are exceptions based on reasonable grounds contained in Section 66C, but the employer is then obliged to give written notice to the employee as to why the offer is not being made and the reasons for it. Such notice must be given within 21 days after the end of the 12-month period.

Employers are reminded that casual employees must be given a copy of the Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS) as soon as practicable after the casual employee starts employment.

Employers are also reminded that under the Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award, they are required to apply the compounding approach when calculating the pay of their casual employees who work overtime. This means that the casual loading rate of 25% will apply to their ordinary hourly rate before the application of the relevant penalty rate. Therefore, the employer is required to pay time and a half, double time and double time and a half on the rate that is inclusive of the casual loading.

The Fair Work Commission has now clarified the overtime rate for casual shift workers effective from the first full pay period on or after 23 November 2021.

Disclaimer: This summary is a guide only and is not legal advice. For further information on casual employment, call NECA Legal (WA) Pty Ltd on (08) 6241 6129 or email necalegalwa@ecawa.org.au.