By Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association Executive Manager for Employment and Training Elisha Radwanowski.
Following changes to the FWA in March 2021, all businesses are required to provide casual staff with the Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS) and comply with the casual conversion requirements in the Act and the Awards, by 27 September 2021.
As ACAPMA has covered before (https://acapmag.com.au/2021/04/employer-alert-casual-employment-information-statement-to-be-provided-to-your-casuals-now/), the Fair Work Act, was changed on 27 March 2021. The changes followed years of consternation caused by a lack of definition in the Act of casual employment, and occurred in the context of the Rossato and Skene cases that saw casual employees deemed to be permanent staff entitled to paid leave and permanent entitlements.
ACAPMA was involved in the Attorney Generals IR Roundtable that led to the changes in the Act, and provided important insight into practical industry experience of operational casual conversion clauses, as one of the few industries that had operational clauses in both wholesale and retail sides of the industry (https://acapmag.com.au/2020/07/acapma-casuals-survey-we-need-your-information-to-inform-sensible-solutions/).
After much political wrangling the changes were made to the Fair Work Act. The result was a definition of a casual, clarity that where an employee is engaged as a casual and paid as a casual that they are a casual and in the event of any deeming to be permanent at a later date the casual loading (or in fuel retail the casual rate) is recognised as being paid as compensation for a lack of paid leave, notice of termination and redundancy (https://acapmag.com.au/2021/03/casuals-steps-for-business-now/). This long-fought clarity reflects common sense, and brought confidence to industry.
The changes also standardised the casual conversion process.
The changes to the Act also led to the enumeration of Casual rights and operations in the Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS). Small business employers were required to provide casual employees with a copy of the CEIS on engagement and to existing staff when it was published in April 2021, but there was a delay for other businesses, who have until 27 September 2021 to provide all current (and future) casual staff with a copy of the CEIS.
Employers will be familiar with the Fair Work Information Statement (FWIS) that has to be provided to all staff. As per Section 125 of the Fair Work Act, before the changes, an employer must give each employee the Fair Work Information Statement before, or as soon as practicable after, they employee starts employment. The Fair Work Information Statement is updated regularly and the most recent version can be found at the perpetual link here.
The changes to the Fair Work Act that passed late in March 2021 add to this Section and creates a second Information Statement, one that is specifically for Casuals – the CEIS. Like the FWIS the CEIS is updated regularly and the most recent version can be found at the perpetual link here.
For the full article, visit ACAPMA.
Published with permission from ACAPMA.