If you employ casuals and they have been working for you for more than 6 months on a regular and systematic basis, the latest decision in WorkPac Pty Ltd v Rossato [2020] FCAFC 84 should have you checking your employment agreements and payroll liabilities.

In this case WorkPac Pty Ltd is now liable for back payment of annual and sick leave entitlements and public holiday pay.  Importantly they CANNOT utilise the 25% casual loading they paid to the staff member to offset the payout.

If it quacks like a duck…

In the decision the judges endorsed a prior finding that the “description of the engagement as casual in a written contract is NOT determinative. One must look at all the features of the relationship”.

If it looks like a duck, walks and swims like a duck and quacks – it’s probably a duck.  Similarly if an employee regularly attends work, has clear responsibilities/their own role and is relied upon to complete tasks and is at work five days a week every week … they are probably permanent.  Just paying them a casual loading will not be enough to satisfy the courts they are casual.

If you have a casual employee (who may have legitimately started on adhoc irregular hours) but now works full time or close to full time hours, is relied upon to attend work and carry out tasks and the only thing that differentiates them from others in the workplace is the payment of a 25% casual loading… you might want to consider your alternatives.

Reviewing your Award, checking employment contracts/documentation and understanding the agreement you have with your worker are some simple steps that could prevent a claim in the future.

Talk to us now > Wendy@gphr.com.au