The Employment Relationship Needs Certainty Over a ‘Casual’ Interpretation

Friday 19 October, 2018 | By: Dan Petrie and Olivia Van der Wagen

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland has welcomed Minister O’Dwyer’s action to become an interested party in the current casual worker test case brought by WorkPac.

The recent decision by the Federal Court in WorkPac vs Skene, where a casual worker was classified as a permanent worker with the associated entitlements of leave and sick days, has since created uncertainty amongst businesses who engage both full-time and casual workers.

The Federal government’s involvement is therefore an endorsement of the fact that there is an uncertainty issue over casual employment as well as the potentially devastating consequences of double dipping.

Employers can’t be held to high compliance standards if there isn’t compliance certainty to do so and, at the moment, that’s exactly what’s happening.

CCIQ reiterates that a modern economy, such as Australia, needs to ensure it has flexibility in its workplace arrangements and that businesses are free to employ workers without fear of double dipping.

The next step for the government is to urgently start the process of amending legislation to define casual employment and/or a casual employee and to ensure that that the fundamental common law right to offset is available to employers if it faces claims to pay for the same entitlement twice.

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Dan Petrie
Media and Communications – Economy and Government
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland
Ph No: 07 3192 0120 (Landline)
Media - Direct: 0418 793 967
Dan Petrie -Mobile: 0408 919 767
Email: dpetrie@cciq.com.au

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