Most young workers are employed on a casual basis. Being casual doesn’t mean you don’t have any rights, and it doesn’t mean you can be paid less. In fact, casuals are paid a higher rate of pay, normally an additional 25 percent, on top of the normal hourly rate (called a “casual loading”).
Casual workers are not normally guaranteed a set number of hours each week, and there may be shorter notice for being called into work. However, this works both ways, and you are not obliged to always be available – that means you can’t be forced to work on a particular day or time, or if you are sick.
Your employer should tell you when you start your job if you are a casual, and what your hourly rate of pay is. Your pay slip should tell you what additional casual loading you are getting.
If you have regular hours and a regular roster, you may actually be a permanent employee, even if your employer tells you that you are a "casual".
Long Term Casuals
Some casuals work for one employer for a long period of time. These workers stay as casuals unless the worker and employer mutually agree to change to full-time or part-time permanent employment – this would provide ongoing work, with an agreed pattern of hours.
However, if you are a long term casual that is engaged on a regular and consistent basis, you may still be entitled to request flexible working arrangements or take parental leave.
A casual worker can change to permanent full-time or part-time work at any time if both the employer and employee agree to it.
Depending on your Award or Enterprise Agreement, you may be able to request to be converted from a casual worker to permanent employment after a certain period of time. You can find out more about casual conversion in your industry on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
Where can I find out more?
To find out more about what you are entitled to as a casual worker, get in touch with us. We can give you advice about what your entitlements are, and help you decide what to do. We can also direct you to other people who can help.