The aged care and disability support sectors are both directly affected by the Full Court of the Fair Work Commission’s recent decision on the Casual Conversion Clause in 85 modern awards.
The key provisions of this new clause are that:
- Casual workers will qualify to convert to permanent employment after 12 months
- This is provided the work can continue to be performed without significant adjustment on a part-time or full-time basis
- It may also be refused where
- It would require significant adjustment
- It is known or reasonably foreseeable that the work will not exist or will significantly change in the next 12 months
- Or there are other reasonable grounds based on facts which are known of reasonably foreseeable.
- Employers must provide a copy of this casual conversion clause to casual employees in the first 12 months of their employment.
For most organisations this won’t be much of an issue as they are keen to have staff employed on a permanent basis anyway. The key impact we see is that it will be another disincentive for consumers to hire care and support staff directly. It will mean that families who don’t want to be caught up in the sham sub-contracting of treating carers as ‘self-employed business operators’ will have their option of employing them as casuals more clearly constrained.
They will now be faced with the prospect of complying with the far more complex requirements of employing them as permanent employees. This entails making provisions for such things as holiday pay, long service leave, parental leave, superannuation, etc.