The government’s much awaited IR Omnibus Bill has passed parliament, albeit in a significantly “gutted” form. Nevertheless, the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Act 2021 (the Amending Act), even in its shortened form, brings significant changes to Australia’s regime for casual employees and their employers.
Overview of Changes
The Amending Act’s passage through parliament brings much anticipated clarity to casual employment, including the rights and obligations of both casual employee and employer. Key changes include:
- The introduction of a statutory definition of casual employees
- The introduction of a statutory obligation for employers to offer “regular” casual employees conversion to full- or parttime employment after 12 months (unless there are reasonable business grounds not to) and a statutory right for casual employees to request such conversion
- Casual employers will not be able to double dip on entitlements
- Casual employees are to be provided with a Casual Employment Information Statement, published by the Fair Work Ombudsman
The Amending Act received royal assent on 26 March 2021, with most of its operative provisions coming into effect on 27 March 2021.