The transport area 'crying out' for reform
FROM October 1, 2018 regular casual workers employed under the Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2010 (Long Distance Award) with service during a period of 12 months may elect to convert to full time or part time engagement.
This right has existed in the Road Transport and Distribution Award 2010 (Distribution Award) since the Award commenced.
Under the Awards there are different employer obligations to inform employees about their right to convert.
Under the Distribution Award, an employer of a regular casual employee who has reached the 12-month service mark must give the employee notice in writing of the provisions of the casual conversion award clause within four weeks of the employee having attained 12 months' service.
Under the Long-Distance Award, an employer has broader obligations.
The employer must provide a casual employee, whether a regular casual employee or not, with a copy of the provisions of the causal conversion clause within the first 12 months of the employee's first engagement to perform work.
For casual employees already employed as at October 1, 2018, an employer must provide those employees with a copy of the Award provision by 1 January 2019.
National Road Transport Association chief executive officer Warren Clark said the introduction of casual conversion provisions in the Long-Distance Award should be a "red flag" for members to review their casual employee's contracts of employment.
"In the light of recent legal developments and the commencement of casual conversion rights in the Long-Distance Award, we are urging members to review the work patterns and length of service of all casual employees," he said.
"For those casuals with ongoing regular and predictable work, consider whether you should convert the employment of casual to permanent full time or permanent part-time work
"NatRoad understands that many casual employees wish to be casual because it gives them flexibility and a higher rate of pay.
"Therefore, it is also important to record any discussions with a casual employee about converting to part-time or full-time employment where the employee chooses to remain casual. However, such an employee can change their mind at any time.
"This is an area crying out for reform of the law, a matter that NatRoad will continue to take up with the Federal Government."