Work Smarter

Work Smarter

Smart means planning to succeed: a tailored HR plan, managing your risks and making the right decisions first time. Working smarter saves you time, money and rework.

Grow Stronger

Grow Stronger

Strength is your growth foundation: right people in the right roles and a culture of high performance and low maintenance. Growing stronger equals success... and more time for you to enjoy it.

Move Faster

Move Faster

Faster is better with smart speed: an engaged, confident and capable workforce achieving more in less time. Moving faster means first to new customers and new opportunities.

Work Smarter

Work Smarter

Smart means planning to succeed: a tailored HR plan, managing your risks and making the right decisions first time. Working smarter saves you time, money and rework.

Grow Stronger

Grow Stronger

Strength is your growth foundation: right people in the right roles and a culture of high performance and low maintenance. Growing stronger equals success... and more time for you to enjoy it.

Move Faster

Move Faster

Faster is better with smart speed: an engaged, confident and capable workforce achieving more in less time. Moving faster means first to new customers and new opportunities.

Reducing casual employee hours

We’ve recently received calls asking for clarification around reducing casual employee hours. Enquiries have been less about cancelling a single casual shift when things are quiet and more around making more permanent changes when casual employees have been working a regular weekly roster.

It’s a topic worth a short blog so let’s start with some key background info…

Full-time and part-time employees have an advance commitment to ongoing employment. They can expect to work regular hours each week.

In contrast, a person is a casual employee if they accept a job offer knowing that there is no firm advance commitment to ongoing work with an agreed pattern of work. For example, if an employee is employed as casual, their roster changes each week to suit their employer’s needs, and they can refuse or swap shifts, it could mean they are a casual worker.

Under the Fair Work Act, a person is a casual employee if:

  • they are offered a job;
  • the offer does not include a firm advance commitment that the work will continue indefinitely with an agreed pattern of work; and
  • they accept the offer knowing that there is no firm advance commitment and become an employee.

Given casual employees have no reasonable expectation for ongoing and regular work, an employer has the right to reduce a casual’s hours without receiving the permission of the employee. The exception to the employer’s unilateral right is where an employee is considered to be a “long-term casual employee”.

A long term casual is an employee who, over a calendar period of at least 12 months, has worked a pattern of hours on an ongoing basis and could perform the same work as a permanent employee without a significant adjustment being required.

Reducing the hours of a long term casual employee may require the employer to undertake similar steps as they would if changing the rosters or hours of work of a full time or part time employee. Such steps may include following the Consultation obligations under the applicable Award. A decision by an employer to reduce the hours of a casual employee without following the T&C’s of the applicable Award and/or the workers’ Employment Agreement can constitute breach of contract and a termination of employment at the initiative of the employer, exposing the employer to the risk of responding to an unfair dismissal application.

Generally, reducing any employee’s hours of work should be done with caution. When it comes to casual employees, you should make sure you not only comply with your legal obligations but ensure your Employment Agreements contain wording that casual employees typically do not have regular or systematic hours of work and they will be offered varying hours of work, depending on operational requirements and their availability.

Bare Bones Consulting specialises in the right HR documents and processes for your business. Employment Agreements for any status of employment – full time, part time or casual – don’t necessary have to be complex or wordy; they simply need to contain wording that aligns with current employment legislation as well as content that meets your business needs. A small investment in the right HR function delivers high return…and what business owner wouldn’t see the logic in that?

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    Burleigh Town 4220,
    Queensland
  • 07 5576 4693
  • 0401 279 065
  • Bare Bones Consulting

Contact Us

Give Bare Bones Consulting a call to discuss our range of HR services to help your business succeed.

Even if you elect to not proceed after our first complimentary consultation you’ll be in a better position to know what’s possible.

We believe our approach to HR is unique... but then again, so is your business.