If you work in the private sector and you have been a casual for more than 6 – 12 months, you now have extra rights and entitlements that you might not know about.
Casual employees of national system employers (like small businesses and corporations) who have been employed continuously in regular and systematic work can now apply to convert to permanent employment.
Since 1 October 2018 this has been a new opportunity under the Fair Work Act.
The United Services Union can guide and help members to seek permanency.
It is often wrongly thought that if you are a casual there is little benefit to Union membership. Actually being a member can help a great deal in getting the advice and support you need to seek conversion to more secure and stable employment.
“But I like my casual loading – why become permanent?”
Permanent employment has many great benefits. Swapping your old casual loading for a safer long term job gives you at least 4 weeks paid annual leave, access to paid long service leave, sick leave when you really need it and above all job security. Many casuals go without holidays and even work sick because they never know what the next day will bring. It can come with the fear that if you are not there when wanted, you might not get called back again. Casual employment does attract a modest loading, but the uncertainty that comes with it can be very stressful. Permanent employment lets you plan your life and finances, with easier loan applications, better work life balance, and not having to worry that reasonable time off could cost you a job.
And redundancy protections for permanent employees both reduce the ease of employers terminating your service, and give you some safeguards in case of job losses occurring –protections that casuals miss out on.
Casual employment was only supposed to be for short term, temporary work but in Australia today the majority of new jobs have become casual. It’s not right to be kept in perpetual limbo, always on call but not getting your loyalty rewarded.
Also, becoming permanent helps you and your fellow workers, because with a more secure job you have more freedom to stand up for what’s right, like fair treatment, safe working conditions and involvement in your Union…without being quietly let go, because you get protection from unfair dismissal – safer jobs make stronger workers.
If you are a casual who has been doing the same job on a regular and systematic basis for more than 6 – 12 months you have the right to apply for permanency and as long as the business is sound (not restructuring, losing contracts, closing down, going bankrupt or otherwise shedding staff) you have a very good chance of getting it.
Lots of people think “I’ll join the Union when I become permanent” but now you don’t have to just wait for it to happen, join your Union today and take charge of your own future, apply for conversion. If you’re unsure, call the Union and if you’re already a member we can show you how to get started on the process.