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Employing casual workers

Understand their rights and entitlements

On this page

  • Find out why casual workers can help your business
  • Know what your casual workers are entitled to   
  • Plan your business around casual workers

Why employ casual workers?

  • They can be a vital 'back up' system to your business so when times are busy – or unexpected staff shortages happen – you can continue to operate your business.
  • They're a great resource to meet the fluctuating or ad-hoc needs of your business.

Casual worker entitlements

Covered by the Victorian Long Service Leave (LSL) Act, casual workers accrue long service leave.

To determine whether another award or agreement applies, take a look at the Long Service Leave Act 2018 Comprehensive Guide (PDF 984.63 KB)PDF icon for more details, or give Fairwork a call on 13 13 94.

Our page on employee pay rates and conditions provides information about the National Employment Standards (NES). The Standards underpin employment in Australia, however certain elements don't apply to casual employees, such as paid personal and annual leave.

Your casual employees are entitled to:

  • the Fair Work Information Statement being provided at the start of employment
  • two days (unpaid) leave
  • two days (unpaid) compassionate leave
  • community service leave
  • a day off work on public holidays – unless reasonably requested to work. 

Find out more details about requesting and refusing to work on public holidays

Here's a tip: plan your public holiday roster well in advance so you can make sure your roster provides employees with their proper entitlements as outlined in the NES.

Know when the public holidays land this Christmas by checking out our public holiday listings below.

Victorian public holidays

Other legislative coverage for casual staff

Employers should also be aware that other parts of legislation will apply to all staff – as well as casuals – and include:

  • occupational Health and Safety legislation
  • Equal Opportunity legislation Fair Work Act – most notably the Unfair Dismissal and General Protections sections
  • workers compensation legislation
  • long service leave legislation.

While there are restrictions on which casual employees can access Unfair Dismissal protections, all other elements apply equally to all staff.

This essentially means that employers should apply recruitment, induction and behavioral standards across the board to best manage these aspects.

Find examples of how Long Service Leave is calculated

Learn how to dismiss staff properly

Do awards apply to casuals?

Award and Enterprise Agreements will also have additional provisions for casual staff. To check the awards and entitlements of the casual employees you engage, use the Fair Work award finder.

Remember that entitlements can also come from letters of offer, contracts and/or policies and procedures – so employers should ensure there's clarity around these entitlements and conditions.

Casuals on standard ongoing rosters

Implications of using casuals as part of standard, ongoing rosters are – in a number of circumstances – 'regular and systematic', creating a number of entitlements that you might need to cover as an employer, including: 

  • access to unfair dismissal
  • possible rights to ongoing work
  • other permanent entitlements – such as paid leave.