Christmas casuals

TAPSWith Christmas fast approaching, so too is the need to hire Christmas casuals for those employers who experience increased trade during the Christmas period. Employers must understand their payroll obligations when hiring ‘Christmas casuals’. The obligations for christmas casuals are the same as those of any casual employee under the Fair Work Act.

What is a ‘Casual’ Employee? A casual employee is someone whose work hours do not follow a regular pattern, and they have no firm advance commitment from the business for ongoing work. Unlike full-time or part-time employees, a casual employee does not have entitlements to paid personal leave or annual leave. Under the Fair Work Act, a person is defined as a casual employee if:  they are offered a jobthe offer does not include a firm advance commitment that the work will continue indefinitely with an agreed pattern of workthey accept the offer knowing that there is no firm advance commitment.

What entitlements do casual employees generally get? Under the National Employment Standards, casual employees are entitled to: 2 days unpaid carer’s leave and 2 days unpaid compassionate leave per occasion5 days unpaid family and domestic violence leave (changing to 10 days paid leave in 2023) unpaid community service leave access pathway to become a permanent employee. Under awards and agreements, casual employees are also paid a casual loading (a higher pay rate for being a casual employee) or a specific pay rate for being a casual employee. Each award and agreement may have different requirements as to how much more employers need to pay their casual employees. Importantly, make sure you know which awards and agreements apply to your casuals!

Employers can also find the minimum pay rates, penalties and allowances that apply using the Fair Work Pay and Conditions Tool or the Fair Work Pay Guides:

Fair Work Pay and Conditions Tool Fair Work Pay Guides

As a reminder: Employers have to give every new casual employee a Casual Employment Information Statement (the CEIS) before or as soon as possible after they start their new job.  Employers also must give every new casual employee a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement (the FWIS) at the same time. To download the Casual Employment Information Statement, click the link below:

Casual Employment Information Statement

To download the Fair Work Information Statement, click the link below:

The Fair Work Information Statement (FWIS)

What about Superannuation for casuals? Casuals are entitled to superannuation, just like part-time and full time employees.. Under the current superannuation guarantee laws, employers need to pay super for employees at the current minimum rate of 10.5% of OTE, regardless of how much they earn, because the $450 per month threshold for super eligibility has been removed. You need to offer your eligible employees, a choice of super fund and pay into their chosen account. Most employees are eligible to choose what fund their super goes into. They can choose a super account they already have or choose the employer default fund.

If your employee has chosen a super fund, you can pay super contributions to their chosen fund. If your employee does not choose a super fund or nominate your default fund, in most circumstances you need to request a stapled super fund. Employers should also be mindful of other eligibility requirements for super as well, particularly if you hire workers who are under 18 years old.  You must pay super guarantee on payments you make to an employee under 18 years old if they work for you more than 30 hours in any week, regardless of how much you pay them.
These workers still need to work more than 30 hours in a week to be eligible for super.

Don’t forget pay slips!   Employers need to give employees a pay slip within 1 working day of paying their wages.

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