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Right to request set to expand

15 May 2019
Regardless of which party wins the upcoming Federal Election, it appears likely that most, if not all, casual employees in Australia will be given a right to convert to part-time or full-time employment. 

The Fair Work Amendment (Right to Request Casual Conversion) Bill 2019 was introduced by the Federal Government before the election was called, however it was not passed into law. Since the election was called, Labor has announced that it will also introduce legislation such that all casual employees will be able to ask to be made permanent after 12 months if they work a regular pattern of hours. Further, if the employer declines the request, the employee will have access to an appeals process through the Fair Work Commission. (Under the Government's Bill, disputes could be dealt with by the Fair Work Commission including by arbitration, if the parties agree.) It therefore appears that the appeal rights of casuals will be expanded under a Labor Government.

These developments build on right to request provisions in Modern Awards. Those rights are set to expand to casual employees who are not covered by awards. There are around 2.6 million casual employees in Australia.

If you require further information or have any queries in relation to this article, please feel free to contact Mark Curran.

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