A New Pathway For Casual Workers To Become Permanent Under Proposed Changes

Casual workers could have the option to become permanent employees through a new pathway under proposed industrial relations changes.

More than 850,000 casual workers who work regular hours will benefit from the changes which the federal government says will close a legal “loophole”.

These workers who are working permanent casual hours are missing out on access to leave entitlements and more financial security.

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A new definition of “casual” will be established, following calls from the Australian Council of Trade Unions for a “common sense” definition of casual work.

The federal government says it will keep “much of the existing framework that unions and business groups agree should not change”, but will have the option to become permanent employees if they would prefer leave benefits over casual loading.

Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke will detail the industrial relations reforms in a speck to Sydney Institute.

“Many casuals won’t want a permanent job… but there are casual workers who are trying to support households,” Mr Burke will say.

“They’re being used as though they’re permanent workers and the employer is double dipping — taking all the advantages of a reliable workforce and not providing any of the job security in return.

“That loophole needs to be closed.”

Nearly three million Australians are employed as casual workers and while hundred and thousands of those will be eligible to pursue the pathway, Mr Burke will say no worker will be forced to pursue a particular work option.

“No casual will be forced to lose their loading,” Mr Burke will say.

“No casual will be forced to become a permanent employee.

“But for those who desperately want security — and are being rostered as though they were permanent — for the first time, job security will be in sight.”

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