Casual employees

Casual employees are usually employed by the hour or by the day. They usually don’t get paid sick leave or annual leave. To make up for this they get extra pay called a casual loading.

Casual workers are less likely to have regular or guaranteed hours of work.


Casuals are entitled to a casual loading, which is paid on top of the base pay rate that is paid to full-time and part-time employees. They get this loading to make up for not getting entitlements like paid annual leave and personal (sick) leave.

The exact amount of the loading will depend on the award or agreement that applies. Most modern awards have a casual loading of 25%.

Casuals may also be entitled to penalty rates, loadings and allowances for working on weekends, early in the day, late at night, overtime and on public holidays.

Visit Finding the right pay for tools to help you calculate minimum wages, including the casual loading, allowances and penalty rates.


Casuals also have other minimum conditions of employment under the National Employment Standards. They can also be entitled to minimum conditions in any award or agreement that applies, such as:

  • meal and rest breaks
  • overtime and penalty rates
  • allowances
  • minimum hours of work per shift
  • conversion to full-time or part-time employment.

Visit How to find an award to search for and check the award that applies.

Find out more:

Ending employment

Under the National Employment Standards, employers can dismiss casual workers without giving them notice and casual employees don’t need to give notice. However, an award, agreement or contract of employment can say that a casual needs to get notice or give notice. Check the award or agreement that applies for details.

Casuals & the National Employment Standards

Only some of the National Employment Standards apply to casual employees.

These are:

Casuals who have been employed regularly for at least 12 months and expect to keep working can also be entitled to:

Casuals may also be entitled to long service leave and paid parental leave under the Australian Government Paid Parental Leave scheme.

Back to top

Page last updated: 28 Nov 2012