What do you call a casual when you don’t have a casual?

Since there has been a bit of press about ‘zero hours contracts’ I thought it might be useful to cover off a little about the main types of employment arrangements in the workplace.

The three main employment arrangements in the workplace are permanent, fixed term and casual.

A permanent arrangement has no fixed end date and can be either part time or full time.  Zero hours contracts are permanent arrangements but have no guaranteed hours of work.  In this situation the worker is on call and does not have the right to refuse to work.  It’s the inability to refuse the work that is raising some concern.  This is different to the casual arrangement where the worker can decline the work.

Fixed term agreements are used when there is a project or work is needing to be covered for a fixed period.  There needs to be genuine reason for this fixed term arrangement.

Casual agreements are purely that.  They are casual and there should be no guarantee or expectation of future work.

Sometimes it can be difficult deciding what type of employment arrangement is suitable.  An employer might have quite legitimately had a casual employment situation but as time has progressed the need has changed.  Before work is commenced or even at various points throughout the employment period it is well worth taking the time to assess what type of employment arrangement is appropriate.

Here are a couple of employment law changes happening on 1 April 2015.

From 1 April 2015 the period of paid parental leave changes from 14 weeks paid leave to 16 weeks.  There has been some confusion in past about who pays for paid parental leave, how you work out the entitlements and how much time someone is able to be away.  I will talk about parental leave in another column as this topic warrants more time.

On 1 April 2015 the Minimum Wage is going up for all three minimum wage categories.  The adult minimum wage will be $14.75 and the starting-out wage and the training minimum wage will both be $11.80.