Changing staff from permanent to casual and what you need to know

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

It is common for businesses to consider changing a casual employee to permanent part-time or full-time, especially if they are a long-standing team member. While it isn’t common to do the reverse – from permanent part-time or full-time to casual, there are circumstances where this may be considered. So, if your business is looking at changing an employee’s employment status to casual, what do you need to know?

We have broken down some important points for you to consider.

Let’s talk about consent

There may be circumstances where the employee agrees to move from permanent part-time or full-time to casual. Whether it’s at the request of the employee or mutually agreed, you will be required to carry out your employer obligations by ending their current employment.

This means you must give or pay the employee the required notice and payout any leave and entitlements. Once their current employment has ended, you can onboard them as a casual employee.

What happens if an employee does not consent?

In the event the employee does not consent to move to casual employment, a number of factors need to be considered before taking any steps.

Firstly, you need to check whether the employment contract, registered agreement or award makes any provisions for changing the employee’s work hours without their agreement.

In addition, you need to ascertain whether the change if it occurs, makes a new employment contract or simply changes the existing contract, determine what entitlements and leave need to be paid out, and confirm how much notice you are required to give the employee.

Together, this information can help determine whether or not you may be able to change the employee’s employment to casual without their agreement.

Seek legal advice

Remember, this is a complex situation and it pays to seek legal advice. A lawyer can provide advice about employment contracts, changing an employee’s hours and redundancy. They can assist you to carry out any proceedings in accordance with the law so you can avoid any unfair dismissal claims.

Do you need some employment legal help? Get in touch with our team.

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