There are so many possibilities these days for taking a paid job, part-time and casual are becoming increasingly more popular options with both employers and workers. But no matter what your work circumstances, it is essential that you know and understand what this status means and the associated rights and entitlements by law.
If you have a regular, permanent job but your hours are less than those of a full-time employee, then you are a permanent part-time worker.
Part-time workers generally fit into the following categories:
- they work less than 38 hours in a week
- they have regular hours of work in a week
- they can be a permanent employee or on a fixed-term contract
Part-time workers by law are entitled to sick leave, annual leave and carers leave which are calculated on a pro-rata basis, depending on the working hours. A fixed-term contract ensures that part-time employees have ongoing work and they must give (and receive) notice to terminate this job.
In Queensland and Australia, the term 'casual' refers to staff who work according to the requirements of the employer. This can mean that there is no guarantee of ongoing work or regular and consistent hours, the worker is employed on an 'as needed' basis. This can, of course, be desirable to both parties in some circumstances. A casual worker is someone who:
- Does not get annual leave or sick pay;
- Works irregular hours; or
- Does not have guaranteed hours of work in a week
It is essential, as a casual worker to understand your legal entitlements. Casual workers are not generally entitled by law to a notice period before they are terminated from a position, so they can quit or be fired with immediate effect.
On the other hand, casual workers are entitled to 'casual loading', which means that they can receive a higher pay rate to compensate for the lack of entitlements afforded to other employees (part-time and full-time), such as sick and annual leave.
It is important to know that it is possible for a worker to move from casual status to part-time or full-time if the employer and employee both agree to it. There are some cases where casual workers can also apply to become permanent employees.
In situations where a casual employee has been engaged on a regular and consistent basis for more than twelve months, they can reasonably request certain entitlements, such as parental leave and flexible working arrangements.
In the modern workplace, it can be challenging to understand entitlements and legal rights, both as an employer and employee.
At Cairns Employment & Workplace Lawyers, we can help you navigate this complex legal space. Your introductory consultation with us will be free, so if you have had an issue at work, now is the time to contact us.
Cairns Employment & Workplace Lawyers are part of Preston Law.