What is a Casual Employee?
Definition of a Casual Employee
A casual employee is a worker who has not been allocated or guaranteed a standard number of working hours on a weekly basis. An employer is not bound to provide a casual employee with work, though the majority of employers offer casual workers from a minimum of three hours up to forty hours per week.
Differences between Casual and Permanent work
Casual workers are not entitled to sick leave, annual leave, maternity leave and other forms of leave. The employer does not have to give formal notice to the employee if there is no work for the employee. In Australia, casual workers are compensated for not having these benefits by a higher rate of pay.
Superannuation for Casual Employees
The Australian Government has set a rule that all employees are entitled to superannuation, whether casual or permanent, at the rate of 9%. There are some instances where casual employees are not eligible for superannuation:
Facts on Casual Employment
Currently casual employment is on the rise because it suits employers who hire and fire casuals with impunity.
In Australia, one in five, or 19% of Australian workers were casual employees in November 2011 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This represents just under 2.2 million people.
Casual employees are more likely to be in ‘low status’ groups, tend to be more disadvantaged in the labour market and have higher levels of financial strain and lower levels of financial and job satisfaction (Sandra Buchler, 2007, University of Queensland).
According to the ABS Cat. No.4102.0, 2005, the highest proportion of people in casual employment work in the hospitality industry (accommodation, cafes and restaurants). Other industries that figure highly in casual employment include agriculture, retail and cultural/ recreational services.