Casual Workers DO Have Rights!

Jade Baker, Industrial Officer writes:

Here are some of the things you are entitled to as a casual employee:

  • A higher hourly pay rate than equivalent permanent employees, in the form of a 'casual loading' because casual employees don't generally receive benefits such as sick or annual leave.
  • The same meal, rest & crib breaks as permanent workers.
  • Minimum & maximum length of shifts.
  • Mandatory superannuation contributions (currently 9.5%) paid for by your employer in addition to your normal wages to your superannuation account if you earn more than $450 per month and are over 18 years, or, if you are under 18 years and work more than 30 hours per week.
  • Long service leave in accordance with the relevant NSW Long Service Leave Act 1955.
  • 2 days unpaid Carer’s Leave and 2 days unpaid Compassionate Leave in accordance with the National Employment Standards (NES).
  • Parental leave - Casual workers can request 12 months of unpaid parental leave if they have been working regular shifts in the same job for 12 months or more, and would have a reasonable expectation of ongoing work in accordance with the NES.
  • Unpaid community service leave in accordance with the NES.
  • Unfair dismissal protection – casual workers enjoy the same rights in regards to unfair dismissal remedies as permanent workers, provided that they have a minimum of 6 months’ regular and systematic continuous service with the same employer and an ongoing expectation of work. If their employer is a ‘small business’ (has fewer than 15 full-time, part-time or regular casual employees) they require at least 12 months continuous service.
  • The same right to a safe workplace as all other workers, and the same right to apply for workers compensation in the event of an injury at work.
  • The same right to a workplace free from discrimination and protection from adverse action based upon exercising their workplace rights as all other workers.

For your specific entitlements always refer to the Award or Enterprise Agreement which covers you; there are exceptions, different rules and additional entitlements which may apply to you which depart from these general rules.

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