Extending the right for casuals to convert to part-time or full-time employment

Media Release
  • Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations
  • Minister for Women

The Coalition Government will legislate to provide regular casual employees the right to request to move to full-time or part-time employment, providing more opportunities for Australians to work in the way that best suits them and their families.

A recent decision by the Fair Work Commission provided eligible award-reliant casual employees with a right to request to convert to full-time or part-time employment.

The Fair Work Commission made its decision after considering the evidence provided by unions and employer representatives in extensive proceedings over a period of four years. It is a carefully balanced approach – but the outcome only applies to employees who have their terms and conditions set by a relevant modern award.

The Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, today announced the Coalition Government will extend the effect of that decision to all eligible casual employees covered by the Fair Work Act 2009.

“Many in the community are concerned about security of employment. But if regulation is too onerous, it is likely that employers will be less willing to create jobs. This issue requires a careful and balanced approach,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

Under the Fair Work Commission decision, employers can only refuse employee requests on reasonable grounds after consulting with the employee.

“If award reliant employees have the right to make a request and it is subject to reasonable safeguards for employers, it is only fair that the same right is extended to other casuals who currently do not have the same right.”

“The Government’s approach will ensure a consistent, fair and balanced safety net for all employees covered by the national workplace system. Fairness and balance means having regard to the interests of employers and employees,” Minister O’Dwyer concluded.

For more information

Media mailbox: media@employment.gov.au