Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Horticulture Award 2010 [MA000028].
Casual employees are entitled to ask to change to full-time or part-time employment when they:
- have worked a regular pattern of hours over a period of at least 12 months
- could continue to work those hours as a full-time or part-time employee without significant changes.
Employees who have been working full-time equivalent hours over 12 months can ask to change to full-time employment.
Employees who have been working less than full-time hours can ask to change to part-time employment, to work hours that are consistent with what they have been working over the last 12 months.
Employers need to give all their casual employees notice in writing that they can ask to become full-time or part-time within the first 12 months of them starting work. Casuals who were already employed on 1 October 2018 need to receive this notice by 1 January 2019.
Casual employees that don’t receive this notice are still able to request a change to full-time or part-time employment.
Changing to full-time or part-time employment
Employees need to ask their employer in writing if they want to change to full-time or part-time employment. Employers can agree to the request or they can refuse on reasonable grounds after consultation with the employee.
If the request is agreed, the employer and employee need to discuss and record in writing:
- the type of employment the employee will change to – either full-time or part-time
- if the employee will be part-time, their part-time work arrangements as set out in the award.
Once the change has occurred, an employee can only change back to casual employment by agreement in writing with their employer.
An employee can’t be hired and re-hired as a casual or have their hours changed to avoid any right to change to full-time or part-time employment.
Refusing a request to change to full-time or part-time employment
An employer can only refuse a request if the refusal is reasonable and based on information the employer has or information that they could reasonably foresee.
Reasonable grounds for refusal include:
- the employee doesn’t work regular hours
- the employee’s job won’t exist in the next 12 months
- the employee’s working hours will be significantly reduced in the next 12 months
- there will be a significant change in the hours or days in the next 12 months which cannot be accommodated within the days and/or hours during which the employee is available to work.
If an employer refuses a request, they need to give the employee their reasons in writing within 21 days of the request being made.
Casuals can’t be transferred to part-time employment without written consent from the employee.
Check the Horticulture Award for the complete process to change from casual to full-time or part-time.
To find out more about who this award applies to, go to the Horticulture Award summary.
Source reference: Horticulture Award 2010 [MA000028] clause 10.5.