Temporary employees who regularly turn up for shifts might receive greater certainty.
Casual mine workers will have the option to transition to a permanent role after six months under new changes.
The Federal Government recently proposed crew members who work full-time hours should not have to wait 12 months before converting to a continuing position with no end date.
“I have met casuals who wanted to be permanent workers, who had not taken annual leave for more than 10 years. Now that is just not fair, it needs to be changed [and] we will change it this year,” Federal Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke said at a press conference.
Draft workplace reforms will focus on giving workers “more choice” without forcing them to convert from casual to permanent. If an employee transitions to a full-time job the conversion would only take effect from the date it occurs. No backpay will be provided.
“For a worker every six months – also no more regularly than every six months – if they believe they are in fact working permanent hours, and they would like to convert, [they should] … be able to make the application,” Burke said.
Although some employers criticised the changes and warned they could cause more redundancies, the minister estimated there was no major difference in staff expenses.
“If an employer has hours that are in fact permanent hours then there is no loss to the employer in the actual total dollar figure for them. They do not pay the loading; they pay leave instead; [and] there is no actual cost to the economy,” he said.