Retail News & insights

dreamstime_m_60803582 (1)-01.jpgWith the busiest shopping period still in full swing, many retailers are looking forward to strong retail sales over the coming months. But have you considered your staffing arrangements over the summer season? Are you considering hiring casuals?

Here are the answers to the 5 most common questions that members have in relation to casual employees

1. Do casual employees need a written contract of employment?

There is no legal requirement to have a written contract of employment for any employee. But what happens when everything goes wrong?

A well-drafted employment contract is first and foremost designed to protect you, the employer. As an ARA member, you can login here to access free template employment contracts for all your staff.


2. How much notice do I have to give if I want to cancel a rostered shift for a casual employee?

This is usually covered in the employment contract. A casual employee under the retail award must be rostered for a minimum of 3 hours per shift. However, a rostered shift can generally be cancelled by giving the person reasonable notice, which can be as little as 1 hours’ notice.


3. Do casual employees get overtime?

Casual employees covered by the General Retail Industry Award 2010 are not entitled to overtime, regardless of what days and times they work. However this is unusual and you may have to pay overtime to casual employees covered by other awards, such as the Fast Food Award 2010 or the Restaurant Industry Award 2010.

4. Do casual employees get penalty rates?

Casual employees will generally be entitled to penalty rates depending on the days and times they work. For example, casual employees covered by the retail award will get an additional 10% penalty for hours worked on Saturdays, double time on Sundays and double time and a half on public holidays.

5. Can a casual employee bring an Unfair Dismissal claim?

A casual employee who has served the Minimum Employment Period and who has been employed on a regular and systematic basis can bring an Unfair Dismissal claim. A casual employee can also bring a General Protections claim or a Discrimination claim against you.

A number of recent cases have seen casual employees awarded significant compensation following termination of employment. Members are advised to always contact the ARA Employment Relations team and discuss the risks prior to termination.


For more information regarding casual workers, ARA members can contact the Employment Relations Team on 1300 368 041.

Find out more information about ARA Membership here.

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