REMINDER: Employers must advise casual employees covered by modern awards of their conversion rights by 1 January 2019.

In July 2017, the Fair Work Commission determined to introduce a model casual conversion clause into 85 modern awards and subsequently published the final model clause that took effect in modern awards from 1 October 2018. See our previous legal alert, “Casual Conversion Rights to be Included in Awards“.

The model clause that was inserted into most modern awards contained the following mandatory requirement:

An employer must provide a casual employee, whether a regular casual employee or not, with a copy of the provisions of this subclause within the first 12 months of the employee’s first engagement to perform work. In respect of casual employees already employed as at 1 October 2018, an employer must provide such employees with a copy of the provisions of this subclause by 1 January 2019.

Failure to provide casual employees covered by a modern award with this requirement with a copy of the casual conversion clause will be a breach of the modern award and could result in pecuniary penalties against the employer (of up to $63,000) and the individuals involved (of up to $12,600).

It is critical that employers comply with this requirement by providing their casual employees (whether regular casual employees or not) a copy of the entire casual conversion clause, likely titled “Right to request casual conversion” from the applicable modern award.

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