Fair Work: Changes to Casual Employment

by | May 29, 2024

Note:  These changes start on 26 August 2024

What is a Casual Employee?

A new definition of ‘casual employee’ will be introduced to the Fair Work Act. Under this definition, an employee is only a casual if:

  • there isn’t a firm advance commitment to continuing and indefinite work, taking into account a number of factors, including the real substance, practical reality and true nature of the employment relationship
  • they’re entitled to receive a casual loading or specific casual pay rate.

Employees who start as a casual, will stay casual until their employment status changes either through:

  • a conversion process or Fair Work Commission order, or
  • accepting an alternative employment offer and starting work on that basis.

Employees who were employed casually before 26 August 2024 will stay casuals under the new definition unless they transition to permanent employment.

Casual Employment Information Statement

Employers have to give every new casual employee a Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS) before, or as soon as possible after, they start their new job.

Employers also have to give every new casual employee a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement (FWIS) at the same time.

When an employee enters a new fixed term contract, they must also be given a copy of the Fixed Term Contract Information Statement (FTCIS).

    The CEIS will now need to be provided to:

    • new casual employees before, or as soon as possible after, the start of their employment
    • all casual employees employed by non-small businesses as soon as possible after
      • 6 months of employment
      • 12 months of employment and every subsequent period of 12 months of employment
    • all casual employees of small businesses as soon as possible after 12 months of employment.

    Changing from Casual to Permanent (casual conversion)

    A new pathway will be introduced for eligible employees to change to permanent employment if they want to. This will replace the current rules for changing to permanent employment.

    Employees will be able to notify their employer of their intention to change to permanent employment if the employee:

    • has been employed for at least 6 months (or 12 months if working for a small business employer)
    • believes they no longer meet the requirements of the new casual employee definition.

    Employees can’t notify their employer of their intention to change to permanent employment if they:

    • are currently engaged in an ongoing dispute with their employer about casual conversion, or
    • in the last 6 months:
      • their employer refused a previous notification
      • they’ve resolved a dispute with their employer about casual conversion.

    Employers Responding to a Casual Conversion Notification

    Before responding, the employer must consult with the employee. This includes discussing certain details of what will change if the employer accepts the notification and the employee is no longer a casual employee.

    A notification is the written notice an employee gives to an employer to convert to permanent employment.

    The employer must respond in writing to the employee within 21 days of the employee giving the notification, either:

    • accepting the change, or
    • refusing the change.

    Accepting the change

    If the employer accepts the change, the response must include information about:

    • what the new employment status will be (for example, part-time or full-time)
    • the employee’s new hours of work
    • when the change will take effect.

    You can read more about these casual employment changes at on the Fair Work website.