Accepting Casual Conversion Requests
The casual employee’s request to become full-time or part-time must be made in writing. Under the new rules, if it is agreed that the casual employee will have their employment converted to full-time or part-time employment, the employer and employee must discuss and record in writing:
- whether the employee will be full-time or part-time; and
- if the employee will be part-time, the number of hours and roster they will work and other matters to be agreed upon as set out in the relevant award.
The casual conversion clause does not however require an employer to increase an employee’s hours as a result of a conversion.
Once agreed, the conversion will take effect from the start of the next pay cycle, unless it is agreed otherwise.
If a casual has converted to full-time or part-time employment, the employee can only revert back to casual employment with the written agreement of the employer.
Refusing Casual Conversion Requests
It is important to note that the new casual conversion rules give casual employees the right to request to become full-time or part-time. Conversion to full-time or part-time employment is not automatic.
Employers will be able to refuse a request for casual conversion on reasonable grounds and only after there has been consultation with the employee.
Grounds for refusal include that:
- it would require a significant adjustment to the casual employee’s hours of work to accommodate them in a full-time or part-time position; or
- it is known or reasonably foreseeable that within the next 12 months:
- the casual employee’s position will cease to exist;
- the casual employee’s hours of work will significantly change or be reduced;
- there will be a significant change in the days or times that the casual employee is required to work which cannot be accommodated within the days that the employee is available to work; or
- On other reasonable grounds based on facts which are known or reasonably foreseeable.
The reasons for refusal must be communicated in writing to the employee within 21 days of the request being made. Some care should be taken to ensure that requests are considered on their merits as if an employee does not accept the reasons for the refusal they can use the award’s dispute resolution procedure or refer the matter to the FWC.
Employers are also unable to terminate, reduce or vary a casual employee’s hours in order to avoid the causal employee’s right to request to become full-time or part-time.