Release type: Media Release


Standing up for casual workers


The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for the Arts

The Albanese Labor Government is standing up for casual workers who want to become permanent employees. 

As part of the Government's next set of workplace reforms we will close the loophole that leaves people stuck as casuals when they actually work permanent regular hours.

That means they work just like permanent employees but don’t get any of the benefits of job security.

The previous Liberal and National Government didn’t just ignore this loophole – they actually legislated to make it worse. 

The new Government will ensure that eligible casuals who want to become permanent can do so.

We will legislate a fair, objective definition to determine when an employee can be classified as casual. 

There will be a new pathway for eligible workers to seek permanency, should they wish to do so.

This will help more than 850,000 casual workers who have regular work arrangements, giving them greater access to leave entitlements and more financial security if desired.

This is entirely about giving workers more choice.

No one will be forced to convert from casual to permanent if they don't want to.

The conversion will be effective from the date it occurs, without involving backpay.

We are keeping much of the existing framework that unions and business groups agree should not change, including existing processes to offer eligible employees permanent work after 12 months.

This delivers on our election commitment, ensuring that where a worker’s pattern of work is no longer casual, they have the choice to move to permanent employment and gain the benefits of secure employment.

This forms part of a broader set of reforms to be introduced into Parliament later this year aimed at closing loopholes that undermine wages and conditions. 

Quotes attributable to Minister Burke:

“Many casuals won't want a permanent job. If you're a student or just working a casual job to make some extra money, this change won’t matter to you.

“But there are casual workers who are trying to support households.

“They're being used as though they're permanent workers and the employer is double dipping - taking all the advantages of a reliable workforce and not providing any of the job security in return. That loophole needs to close.

“No casual will be forced to lose their loading.

“No casual will be forced to become a permanent employee.

“But for those who desperately want security - and are being rostered as though they were permanent - for the first time job security will be in sight.”