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Employing staff can be like a new romance

Employing casual staff is a great way for the small business owner to get the help they need, when they need it, without committing to ongoing wage costs. Just like a romance it can be like a rollercoaster!

Employment Agreements
Casual Employment is like a new romance - you don't know when or if you will see each other again!

When you first meet someone and start dating, you don’t know when or if you will see each other again - just like the relationship you have with a casual employee.

If things go well, you start spending more time together. Friday night becomes a standing date; you have regular lunches and always hang out on a Sunday afternoon. The relationship is more predictable with a level of commitment similar to that of a part time employee.

It is vitally important for the business owner to fully understand the differences between employing someone on a casual or part time basis. You don’t want to learn the hard way by being hauled before the Fair Work Tribunal for getting it wrong.

If you employ casuals - take a moment to think about your relationship with them?

Are their hours unpredictable or are they coming in the same days each week and working set hours with no end in sight?

Determining if an employment relationship is casual or part time can be confusing.

The Fair Work Ombudsman states that a Casual Emolyee:

  • has no guaranteed hours of work
  • usually works irregular hours
  • doesn't get paid sick or annual leave
  • can end employment without notice, unless notice is required by a registered agreement, award or employment contract. (see the page)

These are the steps you can take if you are thinking of employing a casual (or any employee)

  1. Firstly - Check the Modern Award that applies to your industry (either online or on the phone Fair Work 131314) as it will set out the conditions upon which an employee is considered casual or not.
  2. Keep a record of the arrangement you make with the employee. Now while the law only requires you to record the mode of employment in the employee's records, it is much safer to demonstrate that both parties have agreed to the terms by defining the relationship in a written contract.

    Putting your employment agreement in writing ensures that you have a rock solid record of the arrangement you are making with your employee, preventing future misunderstandings and disputes.

    Whether someone is employed on a casual or part-time basis depends on what was agreed between the parties at the beginning of employment.
    This is a very important nugget of information that will save you untold hassles as an employer especially if there is any dispute as to what terms of the employee hire.
  3. Finally, if you are in a position where a casual employee is becoming a regular staff member then it may be prudent to review the situation and explore other options such as moving them to a part time contract for a fixed period of time.

Casual Employment ContractCasual Employment Contract Template Kit 

This agreement is for casual employees who are employed under a modern award where the standard award entitlements apply. A Casual employee is generally hired on an informal, uncertain and irregular basis. They don't usually receive sick leave or annual leave and should be paid a casual loading to offset this lack of entitlements.

Bar staff or shop assistants who are never exactly sure when they will be required for work are prime examples.

View all our Employment Agreements

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