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.