Members are advised that a model casual conversion clause has been now been included in the Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award (the Award) to be operative from the commencement of the first full pay period on or after 1 October 2018.
The model clause was established by the Fair Work Commission as part of its 4 year review of modern awards. A copy of the Determination varying the Award to include the model clause in clause 10.5 can be accessed by clicking here.
What you need to know:
The model clause allows a ‘regular casual employee’ who has been engaged over the preceding 12 months on a regular and systematic pattern of hours on an ongoing basis to request an employer to convert their casual employment to part-time or full-time employment, as appropriate. The employee’s request must be in writing.
The employer can refuse the request but can only do so on reasonable grounds which must be based on known and reasonably foreseeable facts. The employer’s response providing such reasons must also be in writing and within 21 days of the request of the employee.
In the instance that the employer agrees to the request, the employer and employee must discuss and document the change in the status of employment i.e. whether part-time or full-time. In the case of a conversion to part-time, the parties need to record in writing the agreed pattern of work as set out in Clause 10.3 (b) - (Part-time employment) of the Award.
There is no obligation on a regular casual employee to seek a conversion to part-time or full-time employment, and an employer is not permitted to require a regular casual employee to convert.
What you need to do:
Firstly, assess the rosters of any casual employees you employ to establish whether they are ‘regular’ or irregular casual employees, and the impact any conversion to part-time or full-time will have on your business.
The model clause requires an employer to provide all casual employees with a copy of the clause within the first 12 months of their employment. Casual employees already engaged as at 1 October 2018 are to be provided with details of the clause by 1 January 2019.
The Workplace Relation Department of the MTA can assist members with the necessary documentation and advice in dealing with the implementation of this new clause within your business.