I’ve been a casual here for nearly 3 years. Last year I asked my manager if I could be made permanent They said they’d think about it but although I’ve asked a couple of times since I haven’t heard anything back. I don’t understand why not as I work pretty much the same shifts every week. It’s really important to me as my partner and I are saving for a house deposit and I probably won’t get a loan if I’m casual. Is there anything I can do?
You don’t mention what sort of work you do but as of 1st of October this year most Modern Awards now have a casual conversion clause thanks to a successful test case that unions and the ACTU ran in the Fair Work Commission.
This clause gives every casual employee who has worked regular ongoing shifts over the past 12 months the right to request to be made permanent (either part time or full time). Although your boss is allowed to refuse your request, they can’t dismiss it unreasonably. Not only that, but they must explain to you the reasons behind their refusal.
You mention that you’ve asked a few times but haven’t received a response. Under the new clause you must receive a response in writing within 21 days of the date you submitted your request (which should also be in writing). If your boss has refused, they must outline the reasons to you, which must be based on facts – for example perhaps a change to being permanent would mean a major change to your current hours.
If after discussing their refusal with your boss you can’t agree, you can refer the issue to the Fair Work Commission with the help of your union.
But supposing the answer is “Yes”? Then you and your employer need to decide what form your permanent hours will take: Will you be full time or part time? What days will you work and what will your span of hours look like? Again, everything agreed upon must be confirmed in writing – and don’t forget to keep copies of everything for your records.
Your new pay rate (you will no longer be receiving a casual loading) and your accrual of annual leave will all take effect at the beginning of your next pay period.
One important thing to consider; once you’ve become permanent, you can’t go back to being casual unless you and your employer both agree; and remember your boss can’t force you to go back to being a casual.
If you have any further questions please give us a call at Australian Unions 1300 486 466.
Good luck with your request!