Key Provisions of Casual Building Industry Workers
It is common for employers in the building industry to engage workers as casuals, but it is imperative that the initial engagement is correct, the entitlements understood, and the relationship monitored over time.
There is an important obligation at the commencement of engagement of a casual employee under the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010 (the Award). The worker must be informed in writing:
That the employee is to be engaged as a casual;
The job to be performed;
The classification level;
The actual or likely hours to be worked; and
The relevant rate of pay.
A casual has a minimum daily engagement of 4 hours and is entitled to receive the relevant fares and travel allowance, living away from home allowance, and travelling time, on each occasion they are required to work.
The casual loading is 25% of the ordinary hourly rate, which compensates the worker for annual leave, personal/carer’s leave, community service leave, notice of termination, redundancy payments, and public holidays not worked.
Corresponding overtime rates for casuals are:
Where the penalty rate is time and a half, they receive 175%;
Where the penalty rate is double time, they receive 225%; and
When required to work on a public holiday, they receive 275%.
A casual employee, engaged on a regular and systematic basis, who has been employed for a period of six months, has the right to elect to convert to either full-time or part-time status. Once this election has been made, the employee may only revert to casual employment by written agreement with the employer.
For employment to be regarded as `regular and systematic’, there should be a clear pattern of hours worked. The term `regular’ implies a repetitive pattern and does not mean frequent, often, uniform or constant. The term `systematic’ requires that the engagement be of a nature that could fairly be called a system, method, or plan.
It is now recommended to separate out the casual loading on the pay advice and actively assess a casual employee’s status after having direct regard to ordinary hours worked in the preceding 26 weeks.
Contractors who have not redrafted contracts in 2020 post WorkPac v Rossato should seek advice.
For queries about engaging casual employees or other employment questions, please contact Dean Cameron at Workforce Advisory Lawyers – We Know Employment Law on 0417 622 178 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: This information is provided as general advice on workplace relations and employment law. It does not constitute legal advice, and it is always advisable to seek further information regarding specific workplace issues. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.