Q: What do employers ask about casual employment?
A: Often they want to know whether an employee actually is truly a casual employee or whether that maybe they are permanent employee. We have to look at a range of factors in terms of that employee's employment. Looking at their contract that they originally signed when they started their employment, how many hours they're working, their work patterns, and what the ongoing expectation of work for that for that person as well.
Q: Do all employees receive the same entitlement?
A: No. There are different entitlements depending on whether you're a casual or permanent employee, particularly around annual leave.
Q: How should employers calculate those entitlements?
A: So when you look at a casual employee, really there's two ways to pay annual leave to a casual employee. You could pay them their annual leave as they go, each pay cycle or alternatively you could also pay the annual leave at the end of the employment relationship. If it's a short period of employment, you probably can pay them as you go. If it's going to be a longer period of employment or you're not sure how long the employment is going to be then it is probably safer to wait until the end of the employment to pay their annual leave out.
Q: Are there special rules around public holidays?
A: Not any different in terms of whether they're casual or permanent, so long as they work on that day they get the same entitlements. The only difference would be that if they're a casual employee, and they weren't expected to otherwise work on that day then you may not have to pay them as it was a permanent employee.
Q: How to ensure an employee isn’t expecting to work?
A: Essentially, you'd look back at how they've worked in the past, for example, if they worked every Monday and the next Monday coming up to the public holiday, just like you, they are required to be paid for that day. If they work different days or it's not clear the pattern of work that they are doing then basically you're just looking at what's been happening in the last couple of months or so.
Q: Advice for employers
A: Well it is a really tricky year and I think it's really important to make sure that from day one or even prior to that actually, you're getting solid advice that's giving you the outcomes that you want to achieve.