Changes to the casual conversion clauses – have you missed the deadline?

The Fair Work Commission has introduced a new “model casual conversion clause” to 85 modern awards that grants eligible, casual employees the right to request that their employment be converted to full or part-time employment.

Employers must provide a copy of the clause to all casual employees covered by a modern award that contains a conversion clause. While only ‘regular’ casuals are eligible to have their employment converted, a copy of the clause must be given to all casual employees.

Who is eligible?

Only ‘regular’ casuals are eligible, meaning an existing casual employee who has worked a pattern of regular and systematic hours for 12 months, on an ongoing basis, without significant adjustment, and could continue to do so in full or part-time employment.

Do employers have to grant all requests for conversion of casual employment?

No, but an employer’s grounds for refusal must be ‘reasonable’.

This might be because the conversion to full or part-time employment would require a significant adjustment of the employee’s hours, or the employer knows that the casual employee’s hours of work will be significantly reduced over the next 12 months.

Any reasons for refusal must be provided, in writing, within 21 days of the employee’s request being made.

It is important that employers carefully read each award relevant to their industry as conversion clauses may vary.

Have you complied with the deadlines?

All employees already employed as at 1 October 2018 must have received a copy of the conversion clause from their employer by 1 January 2019.
Any employees engaged after 1 October 2018 must receive notice of their right to convert their employment within the first 12 months of their employment.

What’s next?

Think you’ve missed the 1 January 2019 deadline? Need help notifying your employees or responding to a request? Speak to Heather Richardson and Isabella Royce.