Last month, the Chamber made an 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 employers retain the needed flexibility casual employment offers.

The Chamber’s application is aimed at ensuring:
  • more jobs for Australian’s, particularly young people
  • greater job security for some casual employees
  • business are able to retain rostering flexibility
  • 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 we re-establish this certainty as quickly as possible,” said NSW Business Chamber CEO Stephen Cartwright.

The change, if accepted, would allow employers to convert regularly rostered casual employees into perma-flexi employees who would receive paid leave entitlements, including annual and sick leave. In recognition of these new entitlements, the 25% loading for casuals would be reduced to 10%.

For more than 100 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 some casuals may seek to ‘double dip’ – claiming both the casual loading and annual and sick leave entitlements.

The Chamber’s proposed perma-flexi employment arrangements will help provide certainty for business and employees, ensure workers are fairly compensated and encourage more businesses to employ young people.