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  • Long-term casual employees

    You can use the following information to determine if your employee can be considered a long-term casual employee for JobKeeper purposes.

    Eligibility from 3 August 2020

    If a casual employee was not an eligible employee prior to 3 August 2020, you can use the 1 July 2020 test to reassess that employee’s eligibility. The test requires that the employee be employed on a regular and systematic basis for the period 2 July 2019 to 1 July 2020.

    Employed on a regular and systematic basis

    A casual employee is likely to have been employed during the relevant 12 month period on a regular and systematic basis if they had a recurring work schedule or maintained a reasonable expectation of ongoing work.

    While a pattern or roster of hours may be a strong indication of regular and systematic employment, it is not necessary to have worked the same days and hours over each pay period. For example, due to the effects of the coronavirus on employment, an individual may have worked fewer shifts in the months of March to June 2020.

    An individual may have been employed on a regular and systematic basis where there was a pattern of work with hours regularly offered and accepted.

    Relevant factors which may indicate that an individual was not employed on a regular and systematic basis include:

    • the employer was unable to offer suitable work to the individual for substantial periods of time
    • the individual made themselves unavailable for work over a substantial period of time
    • the individual was only offered, and/or only accepted, work irregularly or occasionally.

    This is general advice for employers about their entitlements to JobKeeper payments for casual employees. It does not represent advice about ‘regular and systematic’ employment under the Fair Work Act.

    Whether casual employment is on a “regular and systematic basis” depends on the circumstances of each case. We will generally not review a reasonable and good faith assessment by an employer of which employees are long-term casual employees assessed under either the 1 March 2020 test or the 1 July 2020 test.

    Examples

    Example 1 – recurring work schedule

    On 1 June 2019, Kym began working as a casual barista at Top Cafe. During the period of 12 months that ended on 1 July 2020, she regularly worked shifts on Friday and Saturday mornings and occasionally worked shifts on other days. Although Kym may have worked different numbers of hours each week, Kym can be considered to be a long-term casual employee of Top Cafe because, on 1 July 2020, she was employed on a regular and systematic basis for a period of 12 months.

    End of example

     

    Example 2 – varying work schedule

    On 1 July 2020, Irfan was a university student working as a casual employee in the meat processing industry. Since July 2019, his employer generally rostered Irfan for shifts on three to four days a week on differing days. Irfan was required to indicate his availability in advance and worked in accordance with a published roster. However, Irfan was not asked to work on days when there was not enough production demand and also did not work for several weeks in the year due to his exam schedule.

    Irfan is considered to be a long-term casual employee because, on 1 July 2020, he was employed on a regular and systematic basis for a period of 12 months.

    End of example

     

    Example 3 – seasonal work

    Alice works every year for around 3-4 months during her employer's busy season. Because she was only employed for 3-4 consecutive months out of the 12 month period that ended on 1 July 2020, Alice was not employed on a regular and systematic basis throughout this 12 month period so is not considered a long-term casual employee.

    End of example

     

    Example 4 – period of absence

    Sam had a recurring work schedule throughout the first 2 months of the 12 month period that ended on 1 July 2020. However, after those 2 months, he did not work for a period of 2 weeks, after which he returned to his recurring work schedule. His employer became unable to offer shifts to Sam for around 3 months from March 2020. However, Sam returned to work with shifts in June 2020. The combined absences of around 3-4 months may affect whether he was employed on a regular and systematic basis during the 12 month period.

    Although Sam did not work for a period of around 3-4 months in the 12 month period that ended on 1 July 2020, both before and after his periods of absence he had recurring work. As Sam had recurring work for about 8-9 months out of the 12 month period that ended on 1 July 2020, it is likely that he will have been employed on a regular and systematic basis throughout the 12 month period.

    Even if Sam’s absence overlaps 1 July 2020, provided his combined periods of absence were around 3-4 months, he may still have been employed on a regular and systematic basis. It would, however, be important to consider whether there was a mutual expectation up until 1 July that Sam would return to regular shifts.

    End of example

     

    Example 5 – occasional shifts

    Tori has worked for the same employer on a casual basis since 2017. She used to work two or three shifts each week. However, since July 2019, she has only worked irregularly on ten occasions.

    Tori would not be considered a long-term casual employee because her employment is not considered to be regular and systematic.

    End of example
    Last modified: 20 Aug 2020QC 63423