Part-time workers are permanent workers who work regular hours each week, but work less than full-time workers, who work 38 hours per week. Part-time workers receive the same benefits as full-time workers, such as annual leave, sick leave, and notice of termination, but they are calculated on the basis of how many hours they work.  

Casual employees are not permanent employees and are engaged for the duration of each shift, with no guarantee of ongoing employment. 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 an additional 25 percent on top of the normal hourly rate (called a ‘casual loading’). 

The casual loading is a trade-off for the annual leave and sick leave that permanent employees do access. 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.  

Casuals are also not entitled to notice of termination, which means that if your boss wants to end your employment, they can do so without giving you written notice in advance. 

Your employer should tell you when you start your job if you are a part-time or a casual, and what your hourly rate of pay is. Your pay slip should tell you what additional casual loading you are getting. You can find out more about what should be on your pay slip here

Your Award or Enterprise Agreement can tell you more about what you are entitled to as a casual employee. Find out more about Awards and Enterprise Agreements here

Some casuals become 'long-term' or 'permanent' casuals, where you are being paid as a casual but are working regular hours. Find out more about long-term casuals here

Scenario 

Jessica works at a local clothing shop. When she hired Jessica, the Manager, Jamie, did not tell her if she was a part-time or casual employee. She does not get the same amount of shifts every week, and is often called in to work with a few hours of notice. She is not allowed to take any paid annual leave or personal leave. Jessica checks her pay slip and sees that she is not being paid a casual loading on top of the minimum hourly rate.  

This is not okay. If you are a casual employee, you are entitled to a casual loading on top of the minimum hourly rate because you do not have entitlements to guaranteed hours and pay, or access to take paid leave.

What do I do if I think I am not being paid properly, or not getting what I am entitled to? 

To check if you are being paid properly, you can check your pay slip. Your pay slip should clearly state the amount you are being paid, and list any casual loadings or penalties you are receiving. 

If you think you are not being paid properly or are not getting what you are entitled to, get in touch with us. We can give you advice about what you are entitled to, and help you decide what to do. We can also direct you to other people who can help.  

To find out more about how to join your union, visit http://www.unionsact.org.au/joinyourunion/ or have a look at our fact sheet here.

Authorised by M Harrison for UnionsACT, 11 London Circuit, Canberra ACT 2601.

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