The Federal Government’s “Closing the Loopholes” legislation has received Royal Assent and is now law, bringing significant changes to casual employment in Australia. Until March 2021, casual employment was not clearly defined in the Fair Work Act 2009. The recent amendments have shifted the focus to the terms of the offer of employment and its acceptance to determine if an employee is casual.

Starting from August 2024, the definition of casual employment will undergo further changes, emphasising:

  • The real substance, practical reality, and true nature of the employment relationship.
  • The employment contract itself.
  • The mutual understanding or expectation between employer and employee, which may be inferred from their conduct or how the contract is performed.
  • Considerations include the employer’s ability to offer work, the nature of the enterprise, the presence of full-time or part-time employees doing similar work, and the regularity of the employee’s work pattern.

Employee Choice to Convert to Permanent

The Act replaces the casual conversion provisions with a new “employee choice” framework. Casual employees can now request to change their employment status to full-time or part-time after 6 months of employment or 12 months for small businesses. Employers must respond to such requests within 21 days.

Implications for Employers

Employers must ensure the true nature of all employment relationships and employment contracts accurately reflect the intended casual employment relationship. Failure to do so could result in penalties and back payments for entitlements such as paid annual and personal leave.

Need Assistance?

If you have any uncertainties about your casual workers or need guidance on compliance, Business 360 is here to support you. Contact us at 1300 287 360 or email

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