inner banner

Unions are seeking to change arrangements for the loading percentage and leave available to casuals

The ACTU is advocating for a boost to casuals' loading, the leave entitlements for casuals and roster stability, plus the scrapping of individual flexibility agreements, in a submission to the FWC's job security Modern Awards review.

Responding to a FWC job security discussion paper the ACTU encourages the Commission to devote "considerable time" during the awards review consultations to help participants "improve the safety net entitlements of casual workers to better meet the amended modern awards objective and ensure that any remaining entitlement gaps are fairly compensated".

The union peak body says this should include:

  • Assistance in developing options" to "increase the casual loading;
  • provide for additional or improved forms of paid leave; and
  • adjust other conditions relevant to job security including restoring greater predictability and security to permanent work".

It has also asked the Commission to note its concerns about "legislative shortcomings" regarding the ability under the Fair Work Act to protect casuals who are dismissed because of a temporary absence due to illness or injury.

In its submission the ACTU also suggests that the FWC "note in its report the ACTU view that individual flexibility arrangements have been inconsistent with the new modern award objective and should not be required or permitted in modern awards". The suggestions include:

  • Varying the standard term to "alert readers to the NES right to request a flexible working arrangement";
  • Ensure a "proposal" for an IFA informs workers that they are "free to choose agree or not agree"; and
  • include the employer's "assessment as to whether the IFA will result in any improvement to the regularity and predictability of the employee's work and income".

Finally, the ACTU submission suggests that any changes should provide a "capacity for the Commission to review an IFA and express an opinion about whether it continues to meet the BOOT and whether any expectations concerning improvements to regularity and predictability of hours and income had been realised".

Employers and employees alike should be aware of the propositions and suggestions included in the ACTU submission. They have the potential to make significant changes to the current causal workforce operating model, and would likely have flow on impacts on the costs of employing casuals.

HBA Consulting’s industrial relations team will keep across this important review process and update this article when further information becomes available.


29 Somerville,
PH : 02 6247 4490