Most small business owners manage a diverse team filled with full-time and casual employees – and everything in between. But do you know the ins and outs of what casual team members are entitled to? Here’s a look at everything you need to know about hiring – and retaining – casual employees.
How do casual employees differ from part-time and full-time staff?
Essentially, casuals are employees who don’t have regular or ‘systematic’ hours of work, or an expectation of permanent work. Because they don’t have all the entitlements of part-time and full-time employees – like annual leave, personal leave, and more – casuals are entitled to ‘casual loading’ and penalty rates.
How many hours can a casual worker have each week?
While many casual employees can only work a small amount of hours per week due to other commitments like study, it’s important that you’re aware of the minimum and maximum hours for casual staff.
Depending on the industry in which a casual employee works, 11 hours is the maximum they can work per day at their base pay – they can still work after that, but will likely be entitled to overtime pay, depending on the industry. Similarly, casuals can work a maximum of 38 hours per week before overtime is incurred, however those hours can be averaged out across two weeks (so the team member may work more than 38 one week, but less in the following week).
Perhaps more important is knowing that casuals have to be given at least three hours of work in a row. That means even if they only work a two-hour shift, they must still be paid the minimum of three hours for their time.
Do I have to pay overtime and penalty rates for casual workers on weekends and public holidays?
Depending on award rates or any enterprise agreements signed, casual employees are often entitled to a higher rate of pay on weekends and public holidays. In the fast-food industry, for example, this may be compensated by:
- Extra pay in addition to the team member’s base rate.
- An extra day off or extra annual leave.
- Minimum shift lengths on public holidays.
- Substituting a public holiday for another day.
Note that whether an employee is full-time, part-time or a casual, they are entitled to refuse work on public holidays. You can read more about working on public holidays from the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Are casual employees entitled to superannuation payments?
As with many work laws in Australia, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a full-time, part-time or casual employee – if you’re over 18 and earn more than $450 pre-tax in a calendar month then your employer must pay superannuation contributions for you.
However, note that if a team member is on an award wage and earns less than that amount in a calendar month, the employer may still have to pay super. It’s worth investigating what rules affect your particular industry.
What are ‘time clock rules’?
There are rules in place to protect an employee’s wages, overtime and hours. As such, employers must be aware of – and comply with – time clock rules for hourly employees. Penalties can apply if a business doesn’t adhere to the laws, so an easy way to fulfil the requirements is to use a team management tool that offers everything you need, like time-clocking and tracking functionality.
What tools can help me if a casual worker is ‘no call, no show’?
When running a small business, you need your team to work together at all times – and that means keeping you in the loop if they can’t show up for a shift. When managing casual and seasonal staff, it’s inevitable that some new hires will be ‘no call, no show’.
Thankfully, you can stop the issue from becoming a regular occurrence with the help of Deputy. Whether it’s creating a solid absenteeism policy, learning to schedule your staff or even implementing flexible scheduling practices – there’s a solution out there for you.
Speak to Deputy today to find out how we can improve your workplace management.
The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on Deputy's interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. Deputy is not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article and no warranty is made by us concerning the suitability, accuracy or timeliness of the content of any site that may be linked to this article. Deputy disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.