SDA wins important step for casual workers’ rights

September 21, 2017 News

In good news for casual workers, unions have won an important case to help secure better rights for casual workers.
There are over two million casual workers in Australia. Whilst the nature of casual work suits some people, many Australians look for permanent work that provides job security and important workplace rights and entitlements.

The SDA believes workers should be provided with the opportunity to transition to permanent work instead of only being offered casual work.

The SDA and the wider trade union movement have argued in the Fair Work Commission for better rights for casual workers by changing Modern Awards.

In July 2017, we made an important first step by winning key outcomes in the Fair Work Commission.

What does this mean for casual workers covered by Awards?

The SDA successfully:

  • SECURED overtime rates of pay for casual retail, fast food and hair and beauty workers. This means if you’re a casual and you work outside the span of hours and/or in excess of prescribed hours per day you will receive a higher rate of pay.
  • DEFEATED attempts by employer groups to abolish the minimum 3 hour shifts for casual fast food workers. 3 hour minimum shifts are essential to providing casuals with security around hours and pay.
  • RIGHTS for casual workers to convert from casual to permanent work in all Modern Awards. For the first time, subject to certain conditions and 12 months service, casuals will have rights to request to convert from casual to permanent work.

What does this mean for workers covered by SDA-negotiated Agreements?
The SDA works hard to make improvements to Modern Awards because it is the floor from which we negotiate enterprise agreements.

This means if an improvement is made to Modern Awards, it makes it easier to negotiate for the same improvement to be included in future agreements.

Securing these important protections for casual workers in Awards can only help improve rights for casual workers in SDA-negotiated Agreements going forward.