In March 2021, a new entitlement was added to the National Employment Standards (NES), allowing for casual conversion – i.e. changing from casual to permanent employment.
Under the new rules, an employer (other than a small business employer – employing fewer than 15 employees) has to offer you conversion to full-time or part-time permanent employment if you:
- Have worked for your employer for 12 months
- Have worked a regular pattern of hours for at least the last 6 months on an ongoing basis
- Could continue working those hours as a permanent employee without significant changes.
This offer must be made in writing within 21 days of the end of the 12-month period. You then have 21 days to accept the offer and, if accepted, your employer has to give you notice within 21 days advising if the conversion is full-time or part-time, the hours of work and the date of commencement. These issues should be discussed with you before notice is given.
Your employer does not have to make an offer if they have ‘reasonable grounds’ not to. These reasonable grounds include such things as the expectation your job will cease to exist within the next 12 months, or your hours are likely to be significantly reduced.
If you employer decides not to make you an offer based on reasonable grounds, or because you did not meet the 6 months of regular hours test, they must provide you a written notice with reasons for the decision.
If you believe you have been unfairly refused an offer of casual conversion, contact your union for advice or the Australian Unions Support Centre for free, confidential information.
Australian Unions continue to campaign for casual workers to win the right to permanent work.
Join your union today to support the fight against insecure work.