Casual Employment Q&A

December 14, 2020 Know Your Rights Our Resources

Some recent questions concerning casual employment which our Information Officers, Diane and Veronica have answered:

Q. Some time ago, I rang the union office and I was offered some very helpful advice re converting from casual employment to part-time employment. I have a friend of mine who has been a long term casual for 5 years and she would like to be offered part-time work so she can have greater job security. What should she do?

A. If your friend is an SDA member we would be only too glad to help her achieve permanent work. Please advise her to speak to her Shop Steward, Organiser or she could ring the union office for further information.

Q. I am a casual employee and I was recently ill. I was unable to attend a shift and after ringing my boss I was told that I needed to provide a medical certificate when next back at work. Is this correct?

A. Casual employees are not entitled to paid sick leave so you are not obliged to provide a medical certificate.

Q. Recently my toddler was unwell and I needed to stay home and look after her. When I rang the store manager, I was told that I could only take time off if I had a personal illness and that family leave was not allowed as I am a casual.

A. Hopefully your daughter is feeling better now. Under the NES (national employment standards) you would still be entitled to unpaid carer’s leave which should be used for situations like this.

Q. My friend works part-time and is currently earning less per hour then me. What’s the difference between part-time and casual employment?

A. Part–time wages are lower than casual wages. Importantly, part-time employment is far more beneficial than casual employment because part-time workers enjoy far more certainty around how much they earn from week to week. Also, part-time workers receive for example, 4 weeks annual leave, 17.5% annual leave loading and paid personal and bereavement leave.

Q. The other day a casual staff member was injured at work and I overheard the manager tell him that he was not entitled to claim workers’ compensation. Is this true?

A. The manager’s comments were not true. All employees whether they are full-time, part-time or casual are entitled to claim workers’ comp if they are injured at work.