When we first start out, we generally employ people as Casuals. It is the easiest relationship really. We just put them on and pay them for the hours worked. Simple exercise really. But it is not necessarily the best option for you both financially and legally. If the person works regularly, rather than ad hoc, for a few months this turns the relationship from casual to permanent. You should change them over, but because you have been paying them a higher amount of money on the casual rate, they aren’t so keen to go back. Nothing demotivates people more than paying them less money!! Whilst it isn’t the law to change them over, you are treating them as a casual, when they are no longer a casual. Which could give them access to Unfair Dismissal Laws.
If you had commenced them as a permanent part-time, then this would not be an issue. The permanent part-time relationship is better, it costs you less, you aren’t paying the 25% loading and if they work overtime it won’t cost you a small fortune. You have 6 months to decide if they are working out in a permanent relationship under their probation period and you have 12 months if you are a small business (under 15 staff, including Directors). You can contract them to work a minimum of 4 hours up to the maximum that you require. They have the security of a permanent position and you have a legal relationship that doesn’t cost you as much. It is also important that you always contract with your Employees. The contract clearly shows what type of relationship you have.
We had a client who was recently had a claim against him by Fair Work to pay 25% loading for every hour a previous employee worked for his company. Nearly 3 months. I told him he simply needed to provide Fair Work with a copy of his Contracts (that I had provided to him) to show that the person was a permanent part-time and not a casual. To which he replied, “I got a bit too busy to provide him with a contract.” That little exercise cost him a few thousand dollars. I can assure you every person who works for him, gets a contract now! If you don’t have contracts for your staff, make sure you contact us, and if you have contracts, make sure they are right.
Recruitment – don’t forget we are here if you require any staff. Administrative or Professional. We do this on an hourly basis, not a percentage of salary. Contact us if you need assistance in growing your team.
Hi, my name is Karen Vercoe and I am the Director of The HR People and writer of this article, “Casuals – should I or shouldn’t I?”. Chan & Naylor have invited us to provide you with information about our services and how we can assist you. We are a team of HR consultants with extensive experience in multiple industries and we have national reach.
Each month we will provide an article. These articles will be information about current legislation and/or clients who have had to pay large fines or penalties to staff because they didn’t do the right thing. Often these people were unaware that they were doing the wrong thing.
If you have staff, there is a large amount of legislation that you need to be aware of and our role is to ensure that you are armed with that information so you can make educated decisions. In the event of a fine, you will be best positioned to act on the consequences before rather than after. We will cover contracts of employment, employment relationships, termination, redundancy, sham contracts, unfair dismissal, workplace health & safety and much more.
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The HR People
Disclaimer: Chan & Naylor take no responsibility for the accuracy of any research material of contributors to our newsletter. Contributions to our newsletter, such as this “Casuals – should I or shouldn’t I?” article, are meant to be educational only and Chan & Naylor does not endorse any promotional material promoted in their articles. Readers should do their own research on employing casuals to determine the accuracy of their material.