By 27 September 2021 employers with more than 15 employees must assess whether casual employees employed prior to 27 March 2021 are eligible to convert to permanent employment.
- If employees are eligible, employers must make a written offer to the employee within 21 days of making the assessment.
- If employees are not eligible, employers must notify the employee in writing by the 27 September 2021, providing reasonable grounds for not making the offer.
Employers of more than 15 employees must also provide all casual employees with a copy of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Casual Employment Information Statement on, or as soon as practicable after, 27 September 2021.
Further detail in relation to whether an employee is eligible for casual conversion is set out below.
1. Assess and offer Casual Conversion
Employers must assess all casual employees when they have been employed for 12 months and either offer to convert the employee to permanent employment or provide written reasons for not making an offer.
When am I required to offer casual conversion?
An employer must offer to covert a casual employee to permanent employment if:
- the employee has been employed with the business for a period of 12 months;
- during at least the last 6 months of that period, the employee worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis; and
- without significant adjustment, the employee could continue to work as a full-time employee or a part-time employee.
What are reasonable grounds for not offering casual conversion?
Employers are not required to offer a casual employee a permanent role, if there are reasonable grounds not to do so.
Reasonable grounds for deciding not to make an offer include, but are not limited to, the following:
- the employee’s position will cease to exist within the next 12 months;
- the employee’s hours of work will be significantly reduced within the next 12 months;
- the employee’s days or time of work will significantly change, which cannot be accommodated within the employee’s availability;
- making the offer would not comply with a recruitment or selection processes required by law.
Offers must be made within 21 days
The offer to convert to permanent employment must be given to the employee in writing, within 21 days after the end of the 12 month period of employment
Existing employees (employed prior to 27 March 2021)
If an employee commenced as a casual before 27 March 2021, when the changes came into force, employers need to assess whether they need to make employees an offer for casual conversion by 27 September 2021.
If employees meet the requirements, employers need to make the offer, in writing, within 21 days after making the assessment.
If employers decide not to offer casual conversion, they must write to the employee, explaining the reasons for not making the offer, by no later than 27 September 2021.
Reasons for not making an offer may include:
- the employee does not meet the requirements of the Fair Work Act (for example, the employee has not been employed for at least 12 months); or
- there is a reasonable ground for not making the offer.
New employees (employed after 27 March 2021)
If the employees commenced as a casual on or after 27 March 2021, employees need to either make an offer or provide reasons for not making an offer, within 21 days after the employee’s 12 month anniversary.
From 27 September 2021 causal employees who have been employed by the employer for at least 12 months and have worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis for the last 6 months can also request conversion if:
- the employee’s regular hours could continue as a permanent employee without significant changes;
- the employee hasn’t refused an offer to convert to permanent employment in the last 6 months;
- the employer hasn’t told the employee in the last 6 months that they will not offer casual conversion on reasonable grounds; and
- the employer hasn’t already refused (on reasonable grounds) a request from the employee to become a permanent employee in the last 6 months.
What am I required to do, if I receive a request?
If an employer receives a request, the employer must give the employee a written response within 21 days, stating whether or not the employer grants or refuses the request.
The employer must not refuse the request unless the employer has consulted with the employee and there are reasonable grounds for refusing the request.
Casual Employment Information Statement
From 27 September 2021 employers of more than 15 employees also must provide new casual employees with a Casual Employment Information Statement before, or as soon as possible after, they commence their new position. They must also still give them a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement.
For existing employees, they should be provided the casual information statement on, or as soon as possible after, the 27 September 2021.