Casual Work During the Holiday Season

This article is sponsored by Fair Work Ombudsman

In Australia, there are different types of employees, including full-time, part-time and casual employees. Entitlements can vary depending on the type of employment.

With the festive season approaching, you may get a casual job over the holiday period. 

Casual employment

A casual employee:

– has no guaranteed hours of work

– usually works irregular hours 

– generally gets a casual loading, that is on top of the ordinary rate of pay for a full-time or part-time worker

– doesn’t get paid sick or annual leave

– can end employment without notice, unless notice is required by a registered agreement, award or employment contract

Casuals may also be entitled to penalty rates, if they work overtime, on weekends and public holidays. You can use the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Pay and Conditions Tool  to work out your minimum pay rates.

Public holidays

If you’re working during the festive season, then it’s important to know there are a few public holidays during this period and they can be different depending on the state or territory you work in.

The National Employment Standards (NES) are 10 minimum employment entitlements that have to be provided to all employees.  Public holidays are part of the NES. 

In general, you are entitled to be absent from work on a day or a part day that is a public holiday. Full-time and part-time employees who normally work on a public holiday, are entitled to a paid day off work. Casual employees are entitled to an unpaid day off work. Employers may ask you to work on a public holiday, and you can refuse, if it is reasonable to do so. 

If you work on a public holiday, you may be entitled to penalty rates

Did you know?

The annual wage increase for the second group of awards including the construction, manufacturing, horticulture and a range of other industries, started from the first full pay period on or after 1 November 2020. Check your pay rate if you are covered by these awards. 

For more information – contact the Fair Work Ombudsman

If you would like more information on your workplace rights and obligations while working in Australia, you can: 

– visit www.fairwork.gov.au 

– call 13 13 94 (or 131 450 for the Translating and Interpreting Service)

– register for My account – where you can submit online enquiries and get tailored information 

– subscribe to the Fair Work Ombudsman’s email updates.