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Casual working students during the holiday season

08 Dec 2020

Your students may be looking for a casual job over the Christmas period. It’s important for them to know the workplace entitlements for a casual employee.

A casual employee:

  • has no guaranteed hours of work
  • usually works irregular hours
  • generally gets a casual loading, that is on top of the ordinary rate of pay for a full-time or part-time worker
  • doesn't get paid sick or annual leave
  • can end employment without notice, unless notice is required by a registered agreement, award or employment contract.

Casuals may also be entitled to penalty rates, if they work overtime, on weekends and public holidays. Encourage your students to use the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Pay and Conditions Tool to work out their minimum pay rates.

Annual wage review – November increase

The annual wage increase for the second group of awards including the construction, manufacturing, horticulture and a range of other industries, started from the first full pay period on or after 1 November 2020. New pay rates are now available for those who are covered by these awards.

Unpaid trials

Sometimes an employer might ask a person to do an unpaid trial while they evaluate them for a vacant job. Unpaid work trials are only OK if it’s for the purpose of demonstrating the skills required for the job. Depending on the nature of the work, this could range from one hour to one shift. Any period beyond what is reasonably required to demonstrate your suitability, and must be paid at the appropriate minimum rate of pay.

Find out more about unpaid trials on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website.

Did you know?

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s Community Engagement Team has started publishing a regular Community Engagement newsletter. The newsletter provides useful and up-to-date workplace relations information including new tools and resources, as well as details of free workplace rights webinars which can be shared within your network.

To subscribe, please email your details to community.engagement@fwo.gov.au.