Myth: Casuals aren't entitled to leave.
Fact: Casual employees are entitled to some types of unpaid leave like carer’s, compassionate and (in some cases) parental leave.
Read more about entitlements for casual employees on this page.
A casual employee:
- has no guaranteed hours of work
- usually works irregular hours (but can work regular hours)
- doesn't get paid sick or annual leave
- can end employment without notice, unless notice is required by a registered agreement, award or employment contract.
How is casual different to full-time or part-time?
Full-time and part-time employees have ongoing employment (or a fixed-term contract) and can expect to work regular hours each week. They are entitled to paid sick leave and annual leave.
Full-time and part-time employees must give or receive notice to end the employment.
What do casual employees get?
Casual employees are entitled to:
- a higher hourly pay rate than equivalent full-time or part-time employees. This is called a 'casual loading' and is paid because they don't get benefits such as sick or annual leave
- 2 days unpaid carer's leave and 2 days unpaid compassionate leave per occasion
- unpaid community service leave.
Long term casual employees
Some casual employees work regular hours or the same days each week for a long period and become 'long term casuals'.
Long term casuals stay as casual employees unless they formally change to full-time or part-time employment. They don't automatically become permanent employees, even if they are called 'permanent casual'. They get their casual entitlements regardless of how regularly they work or how long they work for.
After 12 months of regular employment, and if it’s likely the regular employment will continue, a casual employee can:
- request flexible working arrangements
- take parental leave.
They don't get paid leave or notice of termination, even if they work regularly for a long time.
Changing to full-time or part-time employment
A casual employee can change to full-time or part-time employment at any time if the employer and employee both agree to it.
Some enterprise agreements, other registered agreements and awards have a process for changing casual employees to full-time or part-time.
Find more information about arrangements for casual employees in your award by selecting from the list below.
- Building, construction and on-site trades
- Contract cleaning services
- Don't know
- Hair and beauty
- Health support services
- Real estate
- Road Transport
- Social, community, disability and home care services
- Storage services and wholesale
Think a mistake might have been made?
Mistakes can happen. The best way to fix them usually starts with talking.
Check out our Help resolving workplace issues section for practical advice on:
- figuring out if a mistake has been made
- talking to your employer or employee about fixing it
- getting help from us if you can't resolve it.
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