Casual employee granted leave entitlements

The recent judgement by the full Federal Court in the case of WorkPac Pty Limited V Skene has opened the way for staff employed on a casual basis to potentially access leave and other entitlements, which are normally the domain of permanent staff.
The case, which was handed down in August this year, concerned a Queensland mine worker who was employed through a labour-hire firm on shifts similar to full-time mine workers, but at the casual rate of pay. When his employment was terminated, Mr Skene put his hand up for leave entitlements and requested that penalties be imposed on WorkPac, which after some legal jousting, the Full Federal Court granted.
The case has shocked the employment world, with casual workers now contemplating back-claims for leave entitlements, and employers seeking solutions to avoid this apparent double-dipping by what some have called a new class of “super employee”.
Employer bodies have made representations to government, urging for the law to be tightened to clearly define the term “casual” employee, and create certainty, so that that employees remunerated at casual rates cannot also claim leave entitlements, for which it is considered that they have already essentially been compensated by means of a premium hourly rate.
We will have to watch developments in this area. Clients may wish to discuss this with their employment law advisors, as it is not something that we specialise in at RDL. I found this article on the case to be very informative.

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