Casual workers’ rights
As a casual worker you are employed on a shift-to-shift basis, and generally have no certainty of ongoing work.
The casual work arrangement should go both ways however. If shifts are only available casually, you are not obliged to always be available to work. If you are unable to work a casual shift you should not be forced to.
When commencing their role, employers should tell employees if they are a casual or permanent worker. Ask your employer if you’re not sure.
As a casual worker you are not entitled to leave pay or termination notice.
Casual workers are generally entitled to:
- The same meal, rest and crib breaks as permanent workers
- Minimum and maximum length of shifts
- A safe workplace and the right to apply for workers’ compensation in the event of an injury at work
- Freedom from discrimination and protection from adverse action upon exercising workplace rights
- Carer's Leave: 2 days unpaid in accordance with the National Employment Standard (NES)
- Compassionate Leave: 2 days unpaid in accordance with the NES
- Community Service Leave: unpaid in accordance to the NES
- Long Service Leave (in accordance with the relevant NSW Long Service Leave Act 1955)
- Parental Leave: up to 12 months of unpaid leave parental leave if employee has been working regular shift in the same job for 12 months or more and would have reasonable expectation of ongoing work in accordance with the NES.
Casual pay rates
Because casual employees don't generally receive benefits such as sick or annual leave, they receive a casual loading in addition to their hourly pay. The hourly rate for casual workers is equivalent to a permanent hourly rate plus 15 - 25% of the hourly rate.
The rate of pay and rate of loading are determined by the Agreement or Award that covers the job.
Mandatory superannuation contributions (currently 9.5%) are paid to casual workers by employers if they earn more than $450 per month and are over 18 years old, or are under 18 years old and work more than 30 hours per week.
Unfair dismissal protection
Casual workers enjoy the same rights to unfair dismissal remedies as permanent workers, provided 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 (i.e. has fewer than 15 full-time, part-time or regular casual employees) the employee must have at least 12 months continuous service.
You can find out more about your specific entitlements by referring to your Award or Enterprise Agreement, or by contacting the Newcastle SDA office on 4961 4694.
The SDA is here to protect you and your rights in the workplace. That's why it pays to belong.