I will be interested to see what happens with this one. Being a casual worker is fairly common place in Australia.
Productivity Commission to examine entitlements for casual workers
March 17, 2015 12:00AM
There’s a good chance that person making your coffee is a casual worker. Source: Supplied
The hundreds of thousands of Australians locked into constantly changing casual work will have their entitlements examined by the Government’s most powerful advisory body.
The Productivity Commission will be asked by unions to acknowledge the large number in casual labour by giving workers the same entitlements as permanent employees.
The Productivity Commission will be urged by unions to recommend to the Government that casual workers get portable annual leave entitlements, sick leave and family leave.
And “permanent” casual workers should be able to be classified as full-time employees with all the benefits and conditions attached to that status.
The measures would be opposed by employer groups as yet another cost of employment.
However, thousands of workers, particularly the young, are moving from casual job to casual job as the only way to get an income. While casual pay rates usually have a build-in premium above standard wages, the workers do without many long-term benefits such as paid leave.
The Government has asked the Productivity Commission to report on a workplace relations framework in November and the ACTU believes the report should recognise thousands of workers forced to rely on casual work.
“There are 2.2 million casual workers in Australia — that’s one in five Australian workers who deserve the respect and recognition of decent, secure work and entitlements,” ACTU president Ged Kearney will tell the National Press Club today.
“A casual conversion clause will recognise people who are permanent employees in everything but name and give them the recognition and respect of a secure permanent job.”
ACTU President Ged Kearney. Source: News Corp Australia
The ACTU also wants workers returning from parental leave to be able to resume their job on a part-time basis if that suits them better than full-time work.
Ms Kearney today will debate Kate Carnell, CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at the NPC.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics Forms of Employment survey in November 2013 and published in last May found 2.25 million Australians were employed as a casual employee — “employee without paid leave entitlements”.
Some took seasonal work or had brief stints at workplaces through a labour hire agency.