Casual employees have been awarded new entitlements which could affect self-storage operators. Leisa Rennie of HR Central advises all SSAA members to stay informed of these changes…

As of January 1, 2018, the Fair Work Commission introduced certain changes to overtime rates and shift entitlements for casual and part-time employees in some awards. Overtime provisions for casual employees will affect SSAA members who employ staff under the General Retail Award 2010. The overtime provision in a number of modern awards has been altered so that casual employees are now entitled to receive overtime penalty rates, like full-time and part-time employees.

Casual employees within the affected awards will now be entitled to overtime rates for each hour worked in excess of the ordinary hours, either in a day or week. Furthermore, in some cases a casual employee may also be entitled to overtime rates if they work
outside the span of ordinary hours. Casual employees receive a higher hourly pay rate than full-time and part-time employees. This is called a “casual loading”, and is paid to those employees because they don’t receive benefits such as sick or annual leave. When calculating overtime rates for casual employees, the employee’s base rate should be used (including the25% casual loading).

We recommend downloading the General Retail Award 2010 Pay Guide, which outlines all applicable rates of pay.
These changes will apply to the following Modern Awards:

  • Fast Food Award 2010;
  • General Retail Industry Award 2010 (relevant to SSAA members);
  • Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010;
  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010;
  • Registered and Licensed Clubs Award 2010;
  • Restaurant Industry Award 2010.

In addition, changes were made to increase flexibility for part-time rostering. However, this update doesn’t apply to a modern award having an impact on SSAA members. It is important that, as an employer, you have a clear understanding of the difference between casual and part-time employment.

A casual employee is an employee who:

  • has no guaranteed hours of work;
  • doesn’t receive paid sick or annual leave entitlements;
  • has no ongoing expectation of work;
  • receives a casual loading (a higher hourly pay rate) in lieu of receiving any leave entitlements; and
  • typically works irregular hours (but can work regular hours).

A part-time employee is an employee who:

  • works, on average, fewer than 38 hours per week;
  • usually works regular hours each week (now changed to “guaranteed hours”);
  • is entitled to the same benefits as a full-time employee, but on a pro-rata basis; and
  • is a permanent employee or is on a fixed term contract.

It is important that these changes are adhered to so no SSAA members face fines or disciplinary action as a result of incorrect payment including entitlement payments, and employee type classifications. As an example, Fair Work Australia announced in January that an employee classified under the General Retail Industry Award 2010 was back paid $19,000 in termination entitlements including accrued annual leave and long service leave as prescribed by the General Retail Award.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these changes, or around whether or not your employees are classified correctly and are therefore paid correctly, as an SSAA member you are entitled to call the free HR helpdesk service on 1300 01 SSAA (1300 017 722). An HR specialist will be at hand to advise you and answer your enquiries/concerns.