"In evidence filed in the High Court, the Federal Government has estimated that the cost of awarding annual leave, personal/carer's leave and redundancy pay to casuals who have worked regularly for their employer would be up to $39 billion. Not surprisingly, businesses are very worried. Many small business owners are facing financial ruin if such 'double-dipping' claims succeed.
"What is needed is a clear definition of a 'casual employee' in the Fair Work Act – one that can be ready understood and applied by employers and employees. Just as importantly, legislation is needed to prevent people who have been engaged and paid as a casual from pursuing claims for entitlements which the 25% casual loading has been paid in lieu of. Allowing 'double-dipping' is obviously unfair.
"The High Court's recent decision to hear an appeal next year against the WorkPac v Rossato decision is very welcome, but the economic recovery depends on action being taken now by the Government and Parliament to restore certainty. The current uncertainty is stopping employers from hiring, and that is not in anyone's interests," Mr Willox said.
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