Release type: Media Release


Giving choice and flexibility to casual workers


The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP
Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations
Minister for Women

The Coalition Government has introduced legislation to the Parliament to enable regular casual employees to request to move to full-time or part-time employment, giving Australians more opportunities to work in the way that best suits them and their families.

Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said that under the new legislation all employees in the national system will have access to a minimum standard of a right to request casual conversion which cannot be traded away.

“This legislation will provide more opportunities for Australians to work in a way that best suits them and their families,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

This reform will ensure that all employees in the Fair Work system will have access to a protected right to request casual conversion, irrespective of whether their terms and conditions of employment are set by a modern award, enterprise agreement or any other arrangements.

The legislation will extend the effect of a Fair Work Commission decision that meant almost all modern awards contained a right to request to convert to full-time or part-time employment from 1 October 2018.

While the Fair Work Commission’s decision greatly improved access to the right to request full-time or part-time employment for award-reliant employees, the decision did not apply to everyone. This legislation will fill this gap.

“The Government’s Bill will ensure a consistent, fair and balanced safety net for all employees and employers.”

Many businesses, in particular small businesses, already have arrangements for employees to request casual conversion and in some industries these are specifically tailored and long-standing. Provided these are equivalent to or better than the applicable minimum standard, the Government’s Bill will not disturb these existing arrangements.

“Employers can also refuse a conversion request on known or foreseeable reasonable grounds. This Government understands that employers and employees are the ones best placed to make decisions about how they work and how they run their business. That is how we create jobs and productive working relationships,” Minister O’Dwyer concluded.