The Choice Between Casual and Permanent Part-Time Status

A HR Manager was faced with several staff wanting to move into permanent part time status following a new policy on workplace employment.

She was aware there was a new ruling from the Fair Work Commission. After reading the decision it was apparent there are many factors to consider in deciding if an employee is a casual or permanent. The list is not exhaustive.

  1. The definition of casuals and permanent employees in the modern awards/enterprise agreement.
  2. The number of hours worked per week — the more numerous the hours worked the less likely the employee is a casual employee.
  3. Whether the employee had a consistent starting and set finishing time — the more consistent the hours the less likely the employee is casual.
  4. Whether the employee worked according to a roster system that was published in advance — the more regular and planned are the hours the less likely the employee is casual.
  5. Whether there was a reasonable mutual expectation of continuity of employment — if so, the less likely the employee is a casual.

Casual employees do not have access to entitlements received by permanent employees e.g annual leave, personal leave, paid public holidays etc.

Casual employees are able to claim unfair dismissal once they serve the minimum qualifying period of 6 or 12 months depending on the total number of employees employed by the employer.

So does this mean a company will be fined if all casual staff are not made permanent part – time? No it doesn’t. If a company follows the guidelines and makes appropriate offers to those employees who are eligible, and if those employees choose to stay as casual the company will not be fined and those who want to move to permanent part – time can do so.



Any advice here is general in nature and does not take into consideration your personal and/or business circumstances. In considering your personal and /or business circumstances, you should seek professional advice where appropriate.