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Australia – Casual workers now entitled to ask for permanent roles

03 October 2018

Casual workers in Australia who have been in the role for 12 months can now ask their employer for a permanent contract under a new Fair Work Commission ruling.

The ruling from the Fair Work Ombudsman, which came into effect on 1 October 2018, states a person working as a regular casual employee an average of 38 hours for at least 12 months may request for their position to be converted to a permanent full-time or part-time job.

Those who worked less than 38 hours can ask to be a part-time employee if they work a “pattern of hours”, according to the ruling that took effect on October 1.

The workers must put in their request for a permanent role in writing to their employer, who can still refuse an employee's request to make the position permanent, but only if they provide an explanation of the decision based on reasonable grounds. These reasonable grounds could include situations like the job will no longer existing in the next year, or if the hours of work are likely to drop.

Becoming a permanent employee gives a worker access to benefits such as paid sick leave and paid annual leave. It also guarantees them a certain number of working hours and pay. At the moment casual employees can have their shifts cut at the last minute.

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