Recent changes to Employment Law

Employment law can change rapidly. The end of 2018 saw major changes affecting the rights and responsibilities of casual employees and employers alike.

According to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in January, casual workers enjoyed an 11 percent increase in average earnings between 2016 and 2018. That’s nearly three times the 4.1 percent inflation rate over the same period!

With Saturday and nightly penalty rates also increasing from 10 to 25 percent, further wage growth in this sector can rightfully be expected over the next two years.

This surge in pay has accompanied changes to the law, which also strengthen the position of casuals. Casual employees who work an average of 38 hours a week over a year, or follow a regular “pattern of hours”, can request a transition to a permanent position.

All these changes came into force within a month at the end of 2018 – illustrating how rapidly workplace law can shift. Employees and employers alike should be constantly aware of their rights and responsibilities.

If you are a casual employee wanting more job security, we can help develop the best way to approach your boss. And if you are an employer unsure about how to respond to such a request, or even the latest pay rates, we can also help your organisation accommodate whatever changes might come in affect.

If you require advice about workplace law, please contact Dominic Tonkin from our Employment Law team on 02 4341 2355.


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