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Is your casual employee really a casual?

Casual employment allows for flexibility in a workforce; however it can often be incorrectly implemented and managed by employers.  Unfortunately, many employers unknowingly engage employees with the incorrect type of employment agreement.  Such a mistake can be costly and land you in the Employment Relations Authority or Employment Court.  So, what actually is casual employment?

A casual employment relationship is short, casual in essence, informal, uncertain and irregular without continuity of employment.  Work may be rejected just as easily as it is accepted by the employee.

Casual employment is:

  1. “As and when required”: A casual employee would only be called in to work occasionally and irregularly. For example casual work may be offered to cover an employee who calls in sick or to assist with an unexpected increase in work load.
  2. Where there are no fixed days or hours of work:  In other words there should be no regular days and hours of work.  If work is irregular and is not continuous then a casual worker should not develop an expectation of work.  Casual workers should not be included in work rosters.
  3. Offered when the employer has no obligation to offer it:  A casual employee should have no expectation that the employer will offer work.
  4. Accepted when the employee has no obligation to accept it: This means a casual employee should have the right to accept or reject the offer.  There should be no expectation from the employer that the casual employee takes up the offer of casual work.
  5. Where the engagement is short and casual in essence.

If you are concerned that your individual employee arrangements do not meet the legal requirements of a casual, please talk to us about what types of employment agreements would be more suitable for your business.

If you have any questions about the suitability of agreements for your staff, feel free to contact any of our HR Consultants.

DISCLAIMER No liability is assumed by Baker Tilly Staples Rodway for any losses suffered by any person relying directly or indirectly upon any article within this website. It is recommended that you consult your advisor before acting on this information.

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