New laws affecting employers of casual staff

Do you employ casual staff? If the answer is yes, this information is vitally important for your business!

The Federal Government has recently introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Casual Loading Offset) Regulations 2018 (“regulation”). This regulation was introduced in response to the Workpac v Skene (2018) decision. Whilst this regulation came into effect on 18 December 2018, it is important to note that it applies to employment periods prior to this date.

The Workpac v Skene decision

In this case, it was decided that an employee who was treated as a casual, and thus paid casual loading, was entitled to be paid annual leave under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) due to his regular pattern of hours and expectation of continuing work.

However, this decision sparked significant concern as employers were worried about the financial implications of potentially back-paying entitlements to any misclassified casuals as well as paying them their casual loading. The regulation was implemented to remedy this situation.

Casual Loading Offset Regulation

Essentially, under the new regulation, an employer can make a claim to have an employee’s casual loading payments taking into consideration when working out the entitlements owed to them. In order for this consideration to take place, the following criteria must be met:

  • The employee is employed on a casual basis;
  • The employee is paid casual loading;
  • The employee, despite being classified as a casual, was in reality a full-time or part-time employee; and
  • The employee has made a claim to be paid the relevant National Employment Standards entitlements that they were not paid during the period that they were incorrectly classified as a casual.

If you are unsure about the classification of your employees or are require further information about this regulation and how it applies to your business, please phone us on 03 9111 5660.

This is general advice only. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. 

Published Feb 11, 2019

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