Jobs Australia Members should consider reviewing your casual employees to determine if they are eligible for casual conversion to part-time or full-time employment.
Casual employees who worked for their employer for 12 months with a regular pattern of hours need to be offered the option to convert to full-time or part-time (permanent) employment. There are certain eligibility requirements to be met for this to occur.
Employers (except small business employers who have less than 15 employees by headcount) are required to make a written offer to the eligible casual employees to elect to convert to permanent employment within 21 days from the employee’s 12-month commencement anniversary date, if the employee:
- has been employed by the employer for 12 months;
- has worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis for at least the last 6 months;
- could continue working these hours as a full-time or part-time employee without significant changes.
The written offer made to the employee will enable the employee to convert to:
- full-time employment – where the employee’s hours worked for at least the previous 6 months are the same as full-time hours (i.e.) 38 ordinary hours per week; or
- part-time employment – consistent with the employee’s regular pattern of hours worked for at least the previous 6 months), if that employee’s hours worked over at least the previous 6 months are less than full-time hours.
To accept an offer to convert, employees are required to respond to their in writing within 21 days of receiving the offer. If they don’t respond, their employer can assume that they’ve declined the offer (and must retain a record of the offer made [usually by email]).
If an employer (except a small business employer) decides not to offer casual conversion, the employer needs to write to the employee within 21 days after the employee’s 12-month commencement anniversary, advising them:
- that they aren’t making an offer of casual conversion; and
- the reasons for not making the offer.
Reasons for not making an offer:
The only reasons for not making an offer are:
- the employee hasn’t worked a regular pattern of hours:
- on an ongoing basis for at least the last 6 months
- they could continue working as a full-time or part-time employee without significant changes
- the business can provide reasonable business grounds for not making an offer (providing an explanation in writing to the employee).
If an employer decides to not make an offer or refuses to accept a request, for a casual employee to convert to permanent on ‘reasonable grounds’, the employer will need to justify their reasons on known information including relying on that information being reasonably foreseeable.
Reasonable Ground to Refuse
Examples of reasonable grounds for electing not to make an offer may include that, within the next 12 months:
- the employee’s position won’t exist;
- the employee’s hours of work will significantly reduce;
- the employee’s days or hours of work will significantly change, which cannot be accommodated within the employee’s available days or times for work.
Members may seek further information about the casual conversion process. See the FWO website link:
Becoming a permanent employee – Fair Work Ombudsman (accessed 7 Sept 2023).
Jobs Australia will continue to monitor this important area of workplace relations and will update Members on any further developments.