Whilst there has been much talk about an increase in the casualisation of the Australian Workforce the actual rate of casual employment has remained steady at 24%-25%, according to data from The Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Importantly there is no definition of casual employment in current awards or agreements.

In the broad sense, a casual employee is one who has no expectation of ongoing work and in particular no set hours of work. In reality, this is the test of a true casual.

Critically in a recent Full Federal Court decision in WorkPac Pty Ltd v Skene [2018] FCAFC131 the court found that Mr Skene while designated a casual employee, had worked regular hours and was therefore entitled to annual leave.

For all employers the message here is clear, in that, we would recommend a review of any employee categorised as casual who has been employed for 12 months or longer, with particular attention to the hours they have worked over that period.

In circumstances where there have been regular and consistent hours then you should seek advice with respect to the status of any such employee.

Employers should not, therefore, use the term casual, for convenience and should make sure that a casual employee fits within the meaning as described above.

Finally we do understand that this ruling may be appealed to the High Court, but pending any appeal, the current judgement and its implications stand.