Unions win important step for casual worker rights

Published on: Jul 06 2017

In good news for casual workers, unions have won an important case to help secure better rights for casual workers.

Unions, including the SDA, are working hard to address the growing problem of casual work and casualisation of Australia’s workforce.

We need to to provide casual workers with stronger rights and better job security.

Over many years unions, including the SDA, and the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) have argued in the Fair Work Commission for better rights for casual workers by changing Modern Awards.

Yesterday, unions 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

The ACTU with the SDA was successful in their case to secure:

  1. 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.

The changes will come into effect in Modern Awards in the coming months.

These are important first steps to address our growing casualised workforce. Unions will now continue our work to tackle problems facing casual workers.

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

If you have any questions about casual work or any other workplace matter, please contact the SDA.

For a full copy of the decision, please visit https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decision_summaries/2017fwcfb3541-summary.pdf.

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