Casual Terms Award Review 2021 – Group 2 Update

Casual Terms Award Review 2021 – Group 2 Update

The Fair Work Commission (‘FWC”) is required to conduct a review of casual “relevant terms” of modern awards within six months of the amendments made to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (“FW Act”) by Schedule 1 to the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Act 2020.   

The casual term amendments to the FW Act came into effect on 27 March 2021 and included creating a definition of casual employee and introducing casual conversion provisions.

The FWC structured the review into two groups, namely Stage 1 Group 1 modern awards (“Group 1”) and Stage 2 Group 2 modern awards (“Group 2”).   Six modern awards considered a priority were grouped into the Group 1 modern awards, such as the General Retail Industry Award 2020 and the Manufacturing and Associated Occupations and Industries Award 2020 and 45 modern awards were placed into Group 2.

The FWC completed its review of the Group 1 priority awards, handing down its decision on 16 July 2021.  You can read our previous article on the FWC’s Group 1 casual terms award review 2021 here https://www.hrlaw.com.au/hr-law-newsletter/.

The FWC has now conducted its review of the casual “relevant terms” of the Group 2 modern awards, releasing a statement detailing its preliminary views. The FWC has found that “a number of awards in Group 2 contain casual conversion clauses which differ and pre-date the model conversion clause”. These modern awards include the Textile, Clothing, Footwear and Associated Industries Award 2020, the Road Transport and Distribution Award 2020 and the Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award 2020.  In addition to the casual conversion clauses, the FWC has identified other issues regarding casual “relevant terms” in various Group 2 modern awards including the definition of a casual and when a casual employee can be engaged.

The views given by the FWC on the Group 2 modern awards are preliminary at this stage.  Any interested parties wanting to provide a response to the FWC’s preliminary views on the casual terms award review for the Group 2 modern awards can do so by 4.00pm (AEST) on Wednesday 18 August 2021. 

You can read the FWC’s full statement on the casual terms award review for the Group 2 modern awards, here: https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/html/2021fwcfb4928.htm

Employers are reminded to check they are compliant with changes made to the casual “relevant terms” to ensure they are meeting their obligations under the FW Act and modern awards.  Please contact HR Law for the latest advice on casual terms applicable to your staff.

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