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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 661

Labour Hire Casualisation

Dear Mr Vasta

Thank you for your letter of 23 November 2016 concerning the petition to remove long-term labour hire casualisation.

The proportion of employees in the labour market who are casuals has been relatively steady over the last decade. As at August 2016, 25.1 per cent of employees were casual (representing approximately 2.5 million employees), compared to the peak in 2004 at 25.7 per cent.

Casual employment is an appropriate form of work for many employees, particularly those who balance work with study or caring responsibilities. For those seeking permanent employment, casual employment can act as a stepping stone. Casual employment is also appropriate for certain employers in changing economic environments. It can, for example, enable employers to hire more workers in response to an increased demand or during particularly busy periods.

The Fair Work Act 2009 currently provides protections to casual employees. It provides casuals with entitlements to unpaid carer's, compassionate and community service leave. Casual employees usually receive an additional 25 per cent loading, to compensate for not receiving paid leave entitlements and redundancy pay. A long-term casual employee can also request flexible working arrangements and take parental leave. A casual employee working regularly and systematically also has protections from unfair dismissal.

Yours sincerely

from the Minister for Employment, Minister for Employment, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service Senator Cash