The recent casual employment amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) required the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to review the casual employment terms in each modern award and to amend terms that were not consistent with the FW Act or which created difficulties or uncertainties relating to the interaction between the award and the FW Act. On 27 September 2021, all awards which contain casual employment provisions were varied.
The Casual Terms Award Review 2021 was undertaken in 2 stages over the period up to 27 September 2021.
During the course of the Review, Ai Group made many detailed submissions and appeared at Hearings before a Full Bench of the FWC. The FWC accepted Ai Group’s arguments that it would be confusing and unnecessary for awards to continue to contain detailed casual conversion provisions and that awards should simply refer to the casual conversion provisions in the FW Act. The unions’ argued that detailed casual conversion provisions should be retained in awards, but these arguments were rejected by the FWC.
All awards which contain casual employment provisions have been varied. The typical variations:
- Remove definitions of a “casual employee” from awards and replace them with a reference to the definition of a “casual employee” in the FW Act;
- Remove casual conversion provisions from awards and replace them with a reference to the casual conversion provisions in the FW Act; and
- Remove clauses which required that casual employees be advised upon engagement of the likely number of hours of work they would be required to perform.
Ai Group has distributed compliance advices to members setting out the variation which have been made to each relevant award.