A long-term casual employee in your business may have the right to become a permanent member of staff. It is critical that you understand and follow your obligations to avoid breaching provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009.
Any casual employee who has been working for you for 6 months or more under the Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award 2010 (Award) may be eligible to become a permanent member of staff if they are deemed a ‘regular and systemic’ casual worker.
What is ‘regular and systemic’?
The precise definition of ‘regular and systemic’ is largely contextual and may vary from employee to employee and business to business. However, overall if the employee is expected to work similar hours and similar days of the week, then it is likely that the employee would be deemed to be ‘regular and systemic’. For example and simplistically, they worked 7am – 7pm three days a week for most of the weeks employed.
What are your obligations?
If you have a casual worker that is regular and systemic, under the Award you are obligated to provide written notice of their rights to become a permanent employee 4 weeks prior to the 6-month work anniversary. As part of this notice, you must advise that it is at their discretion whether or not they chose to become a permanent member of staff.
What if permanent employment is not in the best interest of your business?
If a casual employee has been engaged in a regular and systemic manner, in most circumstances this in itself indicates the needs of your business are for a permanent employee.
In the potential circumstance that it is not in the best interest of your business to employ additional permanent employees, then you should:
- Engage casual employees to fill your short-term resource requirements only (less than 6-month contracts);
- Vary the casual employee’s roster so that the work is not regular and systemic (alternating the number of hours in the day or the number of days worked each week); and
- Manage the casual employee’s expectations that there will not be a permanent position for them following 6-months of casual employment.
Still have questions?
If you have more questions about your specific situation please contact the Printing Industries HR team on: