"Casual employment provides vital flexibility for employers as well as hundreds of thousands of employees, many of who are not available or do not wish to work on a permanent basis.
"Numerous vital community services are delivered by casual workers because of the flexibility that is needed. These include in-home services for the elderly and sick, and people with disabilities.
"Ai Group joined with a number of other employer groups in conducting a major survey of employers to ascertain the impacts of the unions' claims, including union claims for casual employees to have an absolute right to convert to permanent employment after six months of regular work, and for a four-hour minimum engagement period for casuals.
"Over 3,000 employers responded to the survey. The results show that:
- Thousands of casual employees would be terminated if the unions' claims for casuals to have an absolute right to convert to permanent employment were granted; and
- If a four-hour minimum engagement period for casuals was implemented, there would be devastating impacts on the elderly and sick, and on people with disabilities because businesses that currently provide in-home care would in many cases be unable to continue to provide these services.
"A separate survey of McDonald's employees across Australia showed that, far from wanting a four-hour minimum engagement period, the majority of employees (59%) would like the option of working a two-hour shift. The Fast Food Industry Award currently contains a three-hour minimum engagement period for casuals in this industry. Ai Group is seeking a variation to this award which would allow a shorter minimum engagement period by agreement between the employer and employee.
"The Casual and Part-Time Employment Case is listed for Mention in the FWC this morning. An initial two weeks of hearings have been scheduled commencing on 14 March," Mr Willox said.
Media Enquiries: Tony Melville - 0419 190 347
Ai Group's 26 February 2016 submission, including the results of the Joint Employer Survey (see sections 11 and 16.12)
Ai Group's 14 October 2015 submission, including the results of the fast food industry employee survey (see pages 71 and 72)