I’m casual, can my hours be cut?
As a casual employee, your hours can be cut. However, your employer must notify you prior to your shift that you are not required to work.
A common complaint we hear from our members is that they have arrived at work to find their shift has been cancelled, yet their employer has not contacted them beforehand to notify them.
If you turn up for work and are told you aren’t needed to work, but you haven’t been notified previously, you should always check with your store manager or manager immediately.
If the manager decides that you are still not needed then they can send you home, however, they must pay you the minimum shift, which is normally 3 hours.
A casual employee:
- has no guaranteed hours of work
- usually works irregular hours (but can work regular hours).
- does not receive sick or annual leave
- can end their employment without notice, unless notice is required by a registered agreement, award or employment contract.
Casual employees are entitled to:
- a higher hourly pay rate than equivalent full-time or part-time employees. This is called a ‘casual loading’ and is paid because they don’t get benefits such as sick leave or annual leave.
- 2 days unpaid carer’s leave and 2 days unpaid compassionate leave.
- unpaid community service leave.
Casual vs full-time or part-time
Full time and part time employees:
- have ongoing employment (or a fixed term contract)
- can expect to work regular hours each week
- are entitled to paid sick leave and annual leave
- must give or receive a notice to terminate employment.
Changing to full-time or part-time employment
A casual employee can change to full time or part time employment at any time if both the employee and employer agree to it.
Most Enterprise Agreements and Awards have a process for changing casual employees to full time or permanent part-time. This is referred to as 'casual conversion' which provides a pathway for many to go from casual to permanent employment if you have worked regular and systematic hours over a 12 month period. Read more about casual conversion.
Login to check your Award or Enterprise Agreement.
What to do if you’ve been sent home
Mistakes can happen.
Your department manager may have sent you home. Or perhaps the manager or store manager was unaware you’d been sent home.
If you think you have been sent home and not paid correctly, speak with your Union Delegate. Your store delegate is trained on your Enterprise Agreement or Award and will be able to assist with checking your entitlements.
You can also contact the SDA on 1300 732 4357 for advice and assistance. We will investigate your entitlements under your Award or Enterprise Agreement, and you may be entitled to backpay.