Casual workers are not entitled to most forms of paid leave or notice of termination pay. However, they are entitled to a safe workplace, freedom from discrimination and unpaid parental leave.
Under the Fair Work Act, casual employees are entitled to:
- A higher rate of pay (known as casual loading)
- Some leave entitlements including carer’s, compassionate, family violence leave and community service leave
Depending on their award or agreement, some casual workers may also be entitled to:
- Unpaid 2 weeks pandemic leave
- A higher rate of pay for public holidays worked (but they are not entitled to be paid for public holidays that they do not work)
- Extra pay (penalty rates) for evening, night and weekend work;
- The same rest breaks as permanent workers, including at least a 30-minute unpaid break for every five hours of work
- Minimum length of shifts
Casual workers are entitled to a loading on their hourly rate of pay. This means that their hourly pay rate should be more than the permanent workers doing the same work as them. This loading is compensation for the lack of paid leave provisions that casuals are entitled to, as well as the insecurity of their employment.
The amount of leave loading paid depends on the award or agreement. Casual workers covered by the national minimum wage must get at least 25% casual loading.
Casual workers should also have superannuation contributions paid by their employers if they earn more than $450 per month and are over 18 years old or if they are under 18 years old and work more than 30 hours per week.
Check your award or agreement to find out what you should be being paid or contact your union or the Australian Unions Support Centre for advice.
Under the Fair Work Act, casual workers are entitled to:
Casual workers can request 12 months of unpaid parental leave if they have been working regular shifts in the same job for 12 months or more and if they have a reasonable expectation of ongoing work.
Casual workers can also access long service leave. The length of service after which this can be taken will set out in the award or agreement that covers the work. The amount of long service leave you can take will also be in the award or agreement. Long service leave entitlements will also depend on the relevant State or Territory legislation.
Check your award or agreement to find out what your leave entitlements are or contact the Australian Union Support Centre for advice.
Funding for this factsheet was provided by:
- the Victorian Government as part of the uTech project; and
- the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Please note that the information given here is general information only and is not legal advice. For further assistance, it is recommended you speak to your union.