A Bill was introduced to the House of Representatives last month that proposes to allow casual employees to convert to full-time or part-time employment if they have worked a ‘regular pattern of hours’ for at least 12 months. If the Bill is passed, there will be several implications for bowls clubs who employ casual staff, including the need for them to either grant or refuse a request for Casual Conversion within 21 days.
With many clubs employing a high percentage of casual workers, the potential changes are worth noting. My colleague, employment law expert Sam McIvor, explains how these changes could impact your club.
The Bill follows last year’s decision by the Fair Work Commission, which meant that a new standard conversion clause was incorporated into 85 Modern Awards. The Bill seeks to ensure that all eligible employees will have access to a right to request casual conversion, ncluding employees that are not covered by a Modern Award or an Enterprise Agreement.
Casual conversion is where a casual employee is given the right to request a full-time or part-time position after a certain period of employment, subject to certain prerequisites.
The Bill provides that casual employees may make a request to their employer in writing to convert to full-time or part-time employment if the employee:
The Bill provides that an employer must give a written response to an employee’s request for casual conversion within 21 days after the request is made, stating whether the employer grants or refuses the request.
An employer must not refuse a request for casual conversion unless they have consulted the employee and there are reasonable business grounds to refuse the request. The Bill provides the following examples of what constitutes reasonable business grounds for refusing a casual conversion request:
There may be other reasonable grounds for refusing a request, including grounds that are specific to the particular workplace or the employee’s role. Whether a ground is reasonable is to be assessed by taking into account all of the circumstances, including the needs of the employer’s business and the nature of the employee’s role.
Not just yet. The Bill has been referred to the Education and Employment Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 26 March 2019. Mullins will provide an update on our website and LinkedIn page if the Bill is passed, however please contact me if you would like to discuss how this could impact your club.
Article by Sam McIvor (Partner) and Callum Gribbin (Solicitor), as seen in the April 2019 Edition of Queensland Bowler.
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