Casual double dipping prohibited just in time for the office Christmas party
In response to a request by the government, the Governor-General has made an anti-double dipping regulation. The regulation would prevent casual employees from claiming entitlements under the National Employment Standards that are reserved for permanent employees when they have already received a clearly identifiable casual loading.
Australian business owners will be breathing a sigh of relief with the introduction of the Fair Work Amendment (Casual Loading Offset) Regulations 2018 which insert a retrospective Regulation 2.03A into the Fair Work Regulations.
Stay tuned, though. These regulations could be disallowed when parliament resumes in the new year. Or their lawfulness could be challenged. Federal Labor is considering introducing a statutory definition of casual employees that would exclude those employees who don’t want to be “permanent casuals”. There has also been talk of extending the right for regular casuals to request conversion to permanency (that was recently introduced for employees covered by modern awards) to all employees covered by the National Employment Standards.
So while employers can relax about casuals over the Christmas season, the pressure on Australian businesses to rethink our heavy reliance on the use of “temporary” labour will no doubt resume next year.
Don’t forget that 1 January 2019 is the deadline for providing casual employees covered by a modern award with a copy of the conversion subclause that outlines a regular casual employee’s right to request conversion to permanent status.
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