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Clarity on casuals coming in test case

Wednesday, 24 October 2018
By Wayne Robinson

Impact: Casuals ruling coming

Following extensive lobbying from the PIAA for the Government to provide clarity to businesses regarding the definition of casual employment, the Government has now decided to intervene to make the Commonwealth a party in a test case before the Federal Court of Australia, which considers whether an employer can be required to pay twice to casuals for the same workplace entitlement.

The PIAA says the decision of the Government to get involved is a win for industry. Walter Kuhn, President of PIAA, commended the work of the Association in ensuring that this issue was top of mind for the Government, noting that “After all the lobbying the PIAA have been involved in over this issue, it is reassuring to know that this government is taking it seriously to achieve some certainty when employing casuals, as it is a large issue for the visual communications industry in all sectors. This is a great achievment.”

Businesses within the printing industry and across the Australian economy had been confused with recent case law, which suggested that not only would casual employees be entitled to their casual loading, but they may also be entitled to entitlements under the National Employment Standards too, including annual leave and possibly personal leave as well. The PIAA considered this double dipping and unfair for its members.

Paul Mitchell, Workplace Relations Manager of the PIAA had this to say about the Government’s intervention: “Small businesses must be able to operate with clarity and certainty of the law, which will ensure not only their success, but the success of Australians employed in small businesses across Australia.”

 The Association was informed of the Government’s intention to intervene by the office of the Minister for Employment, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP.

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