Casual conversion

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If you have been working as a casual for the same employer for 12 months or more, they must offer you the option to convert to part-time or full-time, if you meet certain eligibility criteria. This is known as ‘casual conversion’. Find out below if you might be eligible.  

For more information about your rights as a casual employee, you can visit our page here. 

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Am I a casual employee?

Many workers in Australia are casual employees. 

You are a casual employee if:  

  • You are offered a job; 
  • Your job offer does not include a commitment by the employer that your work will be continuous and ongoing, with a regular pattern that you’ve agreed to (known as a ‘firm advance commitment’); and  
  • You accept this offer.

Unlike permanent employees, a casual employee has no guarantee of ongoing employment or regular hours. A casual is also not entitled to the other entitlements that permanent part-time or full-time employees get, like paid annual leave or sick leave. 

To convert your casual employment to part-time or full-time employment, you must be a casual employee. 

If you are not sure whether you are a casual employee, you can contact us here.  

If you are a casual employee,  your employer is required to offer to convert your casual employment to  part-time or full-time employment in certain situations. It is important to know that small businesses that employ fewer than 15 employees do not have to offer casual conversion.

However, as an employee, you may have a right to request casual conversion in certain situations.

When must an employer offer casual conversion?

An employer (other than a small business) must offer to convert your casual employment to full-time or part-time employment when you: 

  • Have worked for the employer for 12 months; 
  • Have worked a regular pattern of hours for the last 6 of those months on an ongoing basis; and 
  • Could continue working those hours as a permanent employee without significant changes.

This offer: 

  • Must be made in writing by the employer, and must specify whether you will be employed as a part-time or full-time employee; and 
  • The offer must be given to you no later than 21 days after the end of your 12 months with that employer. You then need to accept or decline that offer within 21 days of receiving it.

Your employer is not required to offer you a conversion of your casual employment if they have ”reasonable grounds”. ‘Reasonable grounds can include when:

  • Your position will cease to exist within 12 months anyway; 
  • There will be significant changes to your hours of work or your ability to work for the employer within the next 12 months; 
  • Making the offer does not comply with a recruitment or selection process required by law.

If your employer does not offer to convert your casual employment after 12 months, the employer must explain this to you in writing. 

If you believe you are eligible for casual conversion and haven’t received an offer from your employer, or if you have received an offer and you are not sure how to respond, you can contact us here for free and confidential advice. 

Can I request casual conversion?

If your employer hasn’t provided you with a notice of their ‘reasonable grounds’ for not making you an offer, you can make a request for your employer to convert your employment to full-time or part-time employment if you meet the above criteria for being offered conversion, AND, you haven’t already refused an offer of casual employment made by your employer in the last 12 months. 

To request conversion: 

  • You need to wait 21 days after being employed for 12 months to make your request. This is to provide time for your employer to make an offer. 
  • You must make this request in writing, and let them know if you want to work full-time or part-time employment (this will be based on your usual pattern of work); and 
  • Your employer must respond in writing to your request within 21 days. Your employer can only refuse your request on reasonable grounds, and only after consulting you.

If you would like to request conversion but aren’t sure how, you can contact us for free and confidential advice here. 

What happens if there is a disagreement about converting?

If you and your employer have a disagreement about casual conversion, you should first check the document which sets out the terms and conditions of your employment (for example, an enterprise agreement, a modern award, or your contract of employment). These documents always have a section on what to do when there’s a dispute about work. You can read more about different types of employment agreements here. 

Sometimes it can be difficult to work out which agreements apply to your employment. If you are unsure or if you are unable to resolve a disagreement with your employer, we strongly recommend that you contact us for further help.  

For more information on resolving casual conversion disputes, you can visit the Fair Work Commission website here. 

Further tools and resources

  • This factsheet is a useful summary on casual employment. It discusses your right to become a full-time or part-time employee. 
  • This website contains more information on full-time, part-time and casual employment arrangements.

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