Media Release: Casual workers finally win right to apply to go permanent

October 4, 2018 Media Releases News

Casual workers will tomorrow win the right to request a move into permanent employment – a move the union representing retail and fast-food workers says is a huge step towards addressing Australia’s insecure work epidemic.

SDA – the union for retail, fast-food and warehouse workers – National Secretary, Gerard Dwyer, said the Fair Work Commission ruling, which comes into effect tomorrow, Monday 1 October, will allow casuals who have at least 12 months of continuous service and who work a regular pattern of hours to apply for their position to
be made permanent.

“This creates a pathway to permanent work for those who haven’t had that option in the past,” Mr Dwyer said.

“For too long some businesses have used casual work as a substitute for decent secure jobs at the expense workers and their families.”

The change means that employers must genuinely consider a worker’s request to become permanent, and are only allowed to refuse the request “on reasonable grounds and after there has been consultation with the employee”.

“Permanent work guarantees workers access to paid sick leave and paid annual leave and removes the very real risk of employers cutting shifts at the last minute, which obviously has a huge impact on people’s ability to plan their lives and manage their finances.

“We’re talking about industries such as retail and fast-food where workers are often living week to week. Having the ability to ask to become permanent and receive the benefits that come along with that is going make the world of difference to many workers.

“Of course if workers don’t want to move into a permanent role they don’t have to – this simply gives them the option and makes it an enforceable minimum award right.

“We often see cases where casual workers are forced to go into work sick because they can’t afford to lose a day’s pay, or hear stories of people being rejected for home loans because of their casual work status. As of tomorrow, casual workers have a pathway to permanent, secure work if they want it, which will help put an end to those kinds of serious issues.”

Media contact: Darren Rodrigo 0414 783 405