Resources: Blogs

NEWS UPDATE

Blogs
|

Casual Terms Award Review 2021

In March 2021, the casual employment amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) introduced a new statutory definition of “casual employee” and an entitlement to casual conversion as one of the National Employment Standards (NES).

In March 2021, the casual employment amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)(FW Act) introduced a new statutory definition of “casual employee” and an entitlement to casual conversion as one of the National Employment Standards (NES).

As part of the amendments, the Fair Work Commission (the FWC) was required to undertake a review of casual terms in modern awards and their interaction with the casual employee amendments under the FW Act (Casual Terms Award Review).

The Casual Terms Award Review is ongoing however, there has been considerable progress. An update of the Casual Terms Award Review is below.  

The FWC has approached the review in two stages.

Stage 1 of the Casual Terms Award Review:

Under Stage 1, a Full Bench of the FWC considered the casual employment terms in an initial group of six priority modern awards (Stage 1 Awards). The Stage 1 Awards considered comprised of the following:

  • General Retail Industry Award 2020
  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020
  • Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2020
  • Pastoral Award 2020
  • Educational Services Award 2020
  • Fire Fighting Industry Award 2020

In July 2021, the Full Bench handed down its decision for the Stage 1 Awards addressing submissions to its provisional views in relation to casual employment award terms.

The Full Bench confirmed its provisional view that award definitions of “casual employment” or “casual employees” across the Stage 1 Awards were inconsistent with the new statutory definition of a casual employee under the FW Act.

For example, the Full Bench identified that the “engaged as casual” definition was in consistent with the new definition of casual employee under the FW Act, resulting in an employee being considered a casual under the modern awards but not being considered a casual under the FW Act, or visa versa.

In order to deal with inconsistencies such as these, the Full Bench has issued draft determinations to vary the Stage 1 Awards which include inserting the definition of casual employee in the modern awards per the FW Act and inserting provisions for offers and requests for casual conversion per the NES.

The determinations will be made and come into operation on 27 September 2021. You can find FWC’s determinations on the Stage 1 Awards here.

Stage 2 of the Casual Terms Award Review:

In Stage 2, the Full Bench is reviewing the remaining modern awards which have been divided into four groups. A list of the Modern Awards that fall under each group include (but are not limited to):  

GROUP 1
  • Aged Care Award 2010
  • Airport Employees  Award 2020
  • Amusement, Events and Recreation Award 2020
  • Building and Construction General On-site Award 2020
  • Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing Award 2020
  • Registered and Licensed Clubs Award 2020
  • Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010
GROUP 2
  • Aluminium Industry Award 2020
  • Cleaning Services Award 2020
  • Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2020
  • Rail Industry Award 2020
  • Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2020
  • Road Transport and Distribution Award 2020
  • Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2020
GROUP 3
  • Clerks - Private Sector Award 2020
  • Commercial Sales Award 2020
  • Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award 2020
  • Miscellaneous Award 2020
  • Ports, Harbours and Enclosed Water Vessels Award 2020
  • Sporting Organisations Award 2020
  • Telecommunications Services Award 2020
GROUP 4
  • Aboriginal Legal  Rights Movement Award 2016
  • Airservices Australia Enterprise Award 2016
  • Australian Broadcasting Corporation Enterprise Award 2016
  • Australian Government Industry Award 2016
  • State Government Agencies Award 2020
  • Health Professionals, Medical Scientists and Support Services (Victoria) State Reference Public Sector Modern Award 2018

The Full Bench has confirmed that its provisional views expressed in relation to the Stage 1 Awards are also applicable to the Group 1-3 Awards in Stage 2.

Draft determinations amending the casual employment award terms in the Groups 1-3 Awards were also issued and can be located here: Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3.  

The Full Bench has expressed provisional views in relation to each of the Group 4 Awards and has invited interested parties to make submissions. Draft determinations in relation to Group 4 Awards have not been issued to date.

Employers should regularly check relevant modern awards for updates. You can access the decisions and statements in relation to the Casual Award Terms Review here.

Information provided in this blog is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Workplace Law does not accept liability for any loss or damage arising from reliance on the content of this blog, or from links on this website to any external website. Where applicable, liability is limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

Similar articles

"...Ready for it?" - Casuals and Contractors

Workplace Law's Managing Director and Principal, Athena Koelmeyer, explores two key areas that have undergone significant change over the past few years and will undergo yet another change under these amendments – that is, the changes to casual employment and the new definition of employment.

Read more...

Employer went “above and beyond” to accommodate employee’s flexible work arrangement

You just got slapped

One of the effects of the amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) which came into effect on 6 June 2023 is that employers now have greater obligations when responding to requests for flexible working arrangements made under s 65 of the FW Act.

Read more...

Employee unfairly dismissed for requesting family and domestic violence leave

Boiling point

All employees (including part-time and casual employees) will soon have the entitlement to 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave per year under the National Employment Standards, replacing the existing entitlement to five days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave.

Read more...

Commission confirms inappropriate touching constituted sexual harassment warranting summary dismissal

‘Scuse you

Sexual harassment in the workplace has been the subject of significant reform over the past few years, with an even greater onus on employers now to take proactive measures to minimise or eliminate the risk of sexual harassment in connection with work.

Read more...

Employers delay sinks bid for injunctive relief

Speak now

When seeking to enforce a restraint, it is important that employers seek to enforce the restraint in a timely manner to prevent future or an ongoing breach. Any delay will be considered by the courts when assessing whether it is reasonable to enforce the restraint.

Read more...

Two-year post-employment restraint on hairdresser found to be unreasonable

Splitting hairs

When it comes to drafting post-employment restraints in employment contracts, it is important for employers to consider the purpose of the restraint and whether or not the restraint reasonably serves that purpose.

Read more...

Let's talk

please contact our directors to discuss how ouR expertise can help your business.

We're here to help

Contact Us
Let Workplace Law become your partner in Workplace Relations.

Sign up to receive the latest industry updates with commentary from the Workplace Law team direct to your inbox.