|Employer Information > Frequently Asked Questions|
10.4 Casual employment
(f) A casual employee must be engaged:
(i) for a minimum daily period of three hours; and
(ii) not more than once on each day.
If you currently employ staff, that work the morning shift and then return for the afternoon shift, they would not be considered casual employees as per the definition under the HGTA. Employee’s that are employed as mentioned above, would be entitled to the provisions of a Full time / Part time employee, such as holiday and personal/carers leave, along with public holiday leave entitlements.
Supplementary Q: If an Employee rightfully elects to remain a Casual Employee does that relieve the Employer of their obligations in this instance?
A: No - Under Clause 10.4 Casual Employment (d), a Casual Employee has the right to elect if they wish to remain a Casual Employee (receive the higher casual rates). Even if the Employee has stated in writing that they wish to remain as a Casual Employee this would not relieve the Employer of their obligations under Clause 10.4 (f) mentioned above. Simply stated; if a Casual Employee performs work more than one shift per day, they do not meet the definition of a Casual Employee. Hence they would be defined as a part time or full time employee with entitlement to respective leave provisions and conditions. Paying a higher Casual Rate, with or without written elect from the Employee, does not relieve the Employer of their obligations and in fact may be considered the Employees rate of pay based on part/full time.
Importantly to avoid any misunderstanding and the possibility of costly claims for breaches, a casual employee must be employed as defined under the award. The HGTA definition is clear in that, a Casual Employee must be engaged for a minimum daily period of three hours and not more than once on any given day.
For those employing Casual Employees and who prefer to obtain written confirmation from an Employee, as per clause 10.4 (d) mentioned above, please CLICK HERE for a RIGHT TO ELECT letter template. We recommend this signed letter should be kept on your Employees file should this be relied upon for future reference.
EMPLOYING TRACKWORK RIDERS
Q. “I only require a Track Rider for no more than 2.5 hours per day, 6 days a week. How should I employ a Track Rider for the above hours for mutually agreed pay of ($300 net) whilst remaining compliant with the Horse and Greyhound Training Award?”
A. Under the Horse and Greyhound Training Award 2010 (HGTA) Clause 10.4 (f) a casual employee MUST be engaged for a minimum daily period of three hours.
> Considering the casual employment entitlement of a minimum of 3 hours, in the above scenario, another option would be to employ the Track Rider on part time permanent basis. This would allow for employment of the Track Rider for 2.5 hours per day over 6 days or 15 hours per week. Note: Employment under part time would entitle the Track Rider to leave and personal/carers entitlements on a pro rata basis provided under the HGTA.
> It is important to assess the pattern of work and minimum hours that the Track Rider or any casual employee is engaged to work. Simply stated, a casual employee who works a regular pattern of hours in twelve consecutive weeks has the right to elect to go to permanent employment. An Employer would need to address the right of an employee to elect to be engaged as a permanent employee (HGTA Clause 10.4 (d) ).
> Clause 10.4 outlines that a casual employee would have the right to elect to go to permanent employment, which in the above case would be part time permanent employment, see HGTA Clause 10.3 Part – Time Employment. Without notice in writing from the Employee that they do not elect to go to permanent employment, the courts may deem that the employee should have been given the right, and as a result, may award entitlements of a Full/Part employee, i.e. holiday & carers/personal provisions. A rate of pay above the minimum full time (e.g. a specific casual rate) may not be sufficient evidence for the courts to determine that the employee was aware that they were a casual employee. Therefore an employee may debate entitlement to leave provisions at the higher rate of pay.
The current minimum hourly rate for an adult Track Rider is $16.03 per hour. In assessing the above examples the outcome is outlined below:
Part Time 15 hours x $16.03 = $240.45, the employer could make up the difference in pay with an extra payment of say $76.55 resulting in a gross wage of $317.00, tax being $17 (should they claim the tax free threshold).
Casual rate of $20.04 per hour with required minimum of 3 hours per day over 6 days (Mon-Sat) would result in a gross wage of $360.72 compared to $317.00 under Part Time above.