The Federal Court’s ruling in the case of WorkPac v Rossato has made headlines across Australia for the definition of “casual” work. Though the reality is that much of what the Court has said, at least in relation to what a casual worker may be defined as under the law, is not groundbreaking.
The media has jumped on the story and adopted an angle that as a result of the court’s ruling, casual workers who are working regular shifts and already receiving 25% pay loadings in lieu of benefits such as annual leave, might be able to “double-dip” billions of dollars of back pay for annual leave.
However, what the media are overlooking is the fact that under existing laws “regular shift workers” may not be “true” casuals in the first place.
What many employers don’t realise is that just because an employee is specified as “casual” on their employment agreement and are paid the casual leave loading, does not necessarily mean legally they are a casual employee.
Even under the existing laws, if an employee has:
There are some other rules and regulations that are worth mentioning while this matter is being publicly debated:
So, employing someone on a casual basis is not as clear cut as some employers may believe and there are many grey areas which require expert help to negotiate.
If you would like advice in this employment area, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Hillhouse Legal Partners office on 07 3220 1144.
The information in this blog is intended only to provide a general overview and has not been prepared with a view to any particular situation or set of circumstances. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. While we attempt to ensure the information is current and accurate we do not guarantee its currency and accuracy. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the information in this blog as it may not be appropriate for your individual circumstances.