Casual employment contract

Engaging an employee as a casual may suit you if:

  • you cannot guarantee a set number of hours per week or if some weeks there may be no hours;
  • there are others you can call upon if the casual employee turns down an offer to work;
  • your business is very up and down – so hours of work vary greatly; and/or
  • you are not sure how well your business will do so you want a less permanent

If you are in the Federal (Fair Work) system and your company employs less than 15 employees, an employee cannot make an unfair dismissal claim against you within the first 12 months of their employment. If you have more than 15 employees, the time frame is 6 months. This provides employers with the ability to terminate employees within those initial stages of employment if the employee is not meeting expectations.

Conversion to part or full time employment

If there is mutual agreement between employee and employer, there is no reason why a casual cannot become a part or full time employee. It will be important to ensure that any contracts of employment accurately reflect the change.

Many casual employees will prefer to remain casuals, as they like the higher hourly rate and flexibility. Other will be striving for a more permanent role.

Careful consideration must be had to the extent to which you include a reference in a casual employment contract to a casual converting to a part or full time role. It is always important to ensure that one doesn’t promise something that cannot be delivered.


If you have any concerns about casual employment, feel free to contact us!