The state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, has made application to the Fair Work Commission to create a new class of employee to address the significantly adverse consequences arising from the recent Workpac decision by the Federal Court.

The new employment category proposed by the Chamber is perma-flexi. The category accepts the Workpac decision but ensures that employers retain the needed flexibility that casual employment offers.

The Chamber has launched the case to make sure that employers and employees can move forward without double dipping of employment benefits.

“The NSW Business Chamber is the peak employer body in the largest state economy in the Commonwealth, and we represent employers in all industries and across all sizes of business,” said NSW Business Chamber CEO Stephen Cartwright.

“We expect full support for our application from the ACTU and unions that are party to these awards because the union movement has been campaigning publicly for some years now for casual employees to be given more security of employment, and our application will achieve this outcome for many employees currently engaged as regularly rostered casuals,” Mr Cartwright said.

“For the last 120 years, business has employed casual employees and paying them a higher hourly rate in lieu of annual leave and sick leave. The Federal Court’s recent decision in the Workpac case indicated that some casuals can now claim both the casual loading and annual leave and sick leave on top of this.

“Australian businesses are stunned and understandably frustrated by this decision. It seems that under the current Fair Work laws, many casual employees have become something else. The current system of modern awards has been upended and we must get this fixed as soon as possible.
The Chamber’s application is aimed at ensuring:
  • More jobs for Australians, particularly young Australians
  • Greater job security for some casual employees 
  • Businesses retain flexibility for rostering
  • Certainty for business and employees
  • Employees are fairly compensated
“Our modern awards must ensure a fair and relevant minimum safety net for both employers and employees. Given the Workpac decision we are moving to make sure that we re-establish this certainty as quickly as possible,” Mr Cartwright said.

Media Contact:

Damian Kelly Senior Manager, Public Affairs T: 02 9458 7544M: 0401 773 825