Changes to casual award

Public news

Last month we reported on the Fair Work Commission’s initial findings on Stage 1 Awards regarding changes necessary to comply with the Omnibus Bill's changes to regulation of casual work the Fair Work Act.

The Act's new s15A defines a "casual employee" as one who accepts a job offer from an employer knowing there is no firm advance commitment to continuing work with an agreed pattern, and introduces new NES casual conversion arrangements in Part 2-2 Division 4A.

The amendment says casual status is "assessed on the basis of the offer of employment and the acceptance of that offer, not on the basis of any subsequent conduct of either party".

This emphasises for members the importance of a clear contract setting out the casual nature of the employment at the commencement of employment.

The Commission has now issued, and the joint Motor Trade Organisations have made submission on, their provisional views with respect to the Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award 2020.

The Commission’s provisional views are that:

  • The definition of casual employment in the Vehicle Award is not consistent with the legislated definition, and should be replaced with reference to the legislated definition.
  • The casual conversion provisions of the Vehicle Award should be removed and replaced with a reference to the NES provisions.
  • Unions have opposed the provisional views, stating that this approach removes a casual conversion provision that is more advantageous to employees. Under the current Vehicle Award provisions, a casual employee may seek conversion after 6 months of regular and systematic employment. Under the newly introduced NES provisions, an casual employee must have been employed at least 12 months, with at least the last 6 months being regular and systematic employment.

    The review of the awards must be finalised by the statutory deadline of September 27.

    The MTA will continue to update members on changes to the modern awards most commonly utilised by those in our industry.

    If members need assistance with modern awards, please contact the WR team on wr@mtasant.com.au, or on 8291 2000.