In some situations, a casual employee has the right to become a full-time or part-time employee. We may be able to help if the employer and casual employee disagree on the change.
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The National Employment Standards (NES) give a casual employee the right to become a full-time or part-time employee in some circumstances. This is known as casual conversion.
An employer doesn’t have to offer an employee casual conversion if there are reasonable grounds for them not to.
Small businesses (less than 15 employees) don’t have to offer casual conversion, but an employee can still ask for it if they meet the requirements.
If an employer and employee have a dispute about casual conversion and it can’t be resolved at the workplace level, we may be able to help.
For more information about the rules and processes relating to casual conversion (including offers and requests for casual conversion, and how the provisions apply to existing casual employees) contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94 or visit Changes to casual employment – industrial relations reforms on their website.
Employees who are covered by an award or agreement
Every modern award and enterprise agreement has a dispute resolution clause. The clause includes a step by step process for dealing with disputes about the terms of the award or agreement and in relation to the NES.
If you have a dispute with your employer about casual conversion, read the dispute resolution clause in your award or agreement and follow the steps. Try to resolve the dispute at the workplace level first.
If you can’t resolve the dispute that way, and if the dispute resolution clause says you can refer disputes to the Fair Work Commission, you can ask us for help to resolve the dispute.
Not sure if you’re covered by an award or agreement?
The Fair Work Ombudsman can help you find out. Call them on 13 13 94 or visit their website at www.fairwork.gov.au.
Looking for your award or agreement?
Employees who don’t have an award or agreement
An employee who is covered by the national workplace relations system but who doesn’t have an award or an enterprise agreement may also be able to ask us to help with the dispute.
If you have an employment contract or other written agreement with your employer that has a process for dealing with casual conversion disputes, you need to follow that process.
Otherwise, if you are unable to resolve the dispute at the workplace level, you can refer the dispute to us.
Once we receive an application, we can deal with the dispute including by:
- mediation or conciliation
- making a recommendation or expressing an opinion.
If the employee and employer both consent, we can also arbitrate the dispute. Arbitration means that we will determine the dispute by making a binding decision. The parties need to tell us if they want us to arbitrate the dispute.
Employee rights & protections
An employer must not reduce or vary an employee’s hours of work, or terminate their employment, in order to avoid converting the employee to part-time or full-time employment.
An employer must not take adverse action against an employee who has exercised their rights relating to casual conversion. These rights include:
- asking for their casual employment to be converted to full-time or part-time
- lodging a dispute with the Commission about having their request refused.
Adverse action against an employee includes:
- changing the employee’s role or hours for the worse
- dismissing the employee.
Find out more about these general protections laws.