Casual members: you do have rights!

April 8, 2019 News

When a new employee entered the retail industry fifty years ago, this employee commenced employment as a full-time employee. Today that same employee would invariably commence their new job as a casual employee.

When new employees start in the retail and fast food industries, they have minimal questions because they are very happy to have a job. Before too long, these same employees realise they do have rights and are keen to learn about these rights.

Most employees whether they are full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal, limited tenure or are employed at a department or supervisor level are covered by an Enterprise Agreement. This Agreement is a legal document which detail employees’ minimum wages and working conditions which they are entitled to receive.

Listed below are some questions which casual members ask:

Q. If I have been receiving regular hours over a period of time, am I entitled to those hours?

A. You should be allocated reasonable hours.

Q. What are the weekly minimum hours for casual employees?

A. The answer is nil but once again, if you have been receiving regular hours over a period of time and you have an expectation for those hours, you are entitled to receive hours as opposed to, for example, a new employee receiving those hours.

Q. Do I pay union fees when I did not work in a particular week?

A. No.

Q. If I’m injured at work, am I covered by workers’ compensation?

A. Yes you are covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act just like all employees.

Q. Am I entitled to tea breaks like the permanents?

A. Yes you have the same break entitlements as permanent employees. It is important to read the particular clause in your Enterprise Agreement to attain a total understanding of this benefit.

Q. Am I entitled to superannuation?

A. Yes as long as you meet the two qualifications. If you earn above 450 dollars per month you are entitled to 9.5% occupational superannuation and if you’re under 18 years of age, you must work at least 30 hours per week.

Q. What notice do I need to give my employer if I resign from work?

A. As a casual employee, you do not have to provide your employer with any notice. However, we suggest it is good idea to provide some notice. In today’s world, it is wise not to burn any unnecessary bridges.

Q. What happens if I turn up for my allocated shift and I am told I’m not needed?

A. It is the company’s responsibility to contact you before you arrive at work. If they have not contacted you and you turn up for your shift, you are entitled to be paid for that shift whether you work or not.

Q. Am I entitled to the union discounts and benefits like the permanents?

A. Yes.

Q. My boss has offered me part-time employment. Should I accept her offer?

A. You have to weigh up whether you want permanent benefits such as paid annual leave, leave loading, personal leave, compassionate leave etc. On the other hand, your hourly rate will decrease but importantly, you are guaranteed permanent hours which guarantees you financial certainty. We therefore believe that you should seriously consider the offer.


The SDA is here for you. If you have questions concerning your entitlements, please seek advice from your store Shop Steward or call the union office. Don’t be kept in the dark and learn more about your rights.