As part of the 2021-2022 Employment Guides Pack ACAPMA has recently released the Employing Casuals Guide.  This detailed Guide outlines the interaction between the Fair Work Act and National Employment Standards and the Award provisions that govern employment of casual staff in the context of fuel wholesale and retail.  The Guide focuses on the practical elements that employers need to be aware of.  Changes to the Award on 30/9/2021 have necessitated an update to the Guide, specifically to the Casual Conversion elements of the Guide, so a new version has been released today.

There is a difference in the requirements, approach and templates to use when engaging permanent or casual staff.  This is true for all industries, but is particularly important for fuel industry employers to understand.  Fuel adds special context to many of our interactions, from safety, to customer interactions, and staff management requirements are no different.

Casuals in the fuel industry have very specific elements that businesses need to understand, from unique casual conversion requirements through to “special” casual rates and constructions.

“Employing any staff comes with a need to understand the unique context, but when it comes to fuel that need takes on a pressing imperative.  In wholesale the special provisions that apply to oil distribution workers extend to and interact with casual status in ways that payroll and schedulers need to be aware of, a task that is often complicated by the rarity of casual staff in this segment of the industry, that can lead to simple errors.  In retail, where casual staff are the standard, fuel operates very differently to other retail staff.  In addition to a unique pay structure (no 25% loading for fuel retail) there is also very specific (and different) casual conversion requirements” explains ACAPMA Executive Manager for Employment and Training, Elisha Radwanowski

“All fuel operators need to understand the unique context that fuel brings to employing casuals and ensure that engagement documents, casual conversion, payroll and day to day management reflects this context” continued Elisha.

“Too often we see the same Letter of Offer used for both permanent and casual staff, leading to the potential for confusion when it comes to leave, termination and redundancy.  There are some fundamental differences between casual and permanent staff, these need to be understood and reflected in the documents, but also the practices of the business” commented Elisha.

“One example is the capacity to reject shifts.  One of the protections that casual staff have, is the ability to reject a shift.  This is reported as one of the top reasons that casuals choose to remain casual, so businesses need to ensure that their practices recognise and reflect this capacity.  Often leave applications and notification process fail to address this element completely” outlined Elisha.

“Employing any type of staff comes with compliance requirements, that are often changing and evolving.  Where there is a business need for casual staff it is important that the unique considerations and requirements for casual status, and particularly casual status in the fuel context, are well understood, so that compliance can be demonstrated, and so that all parties understand clearly expectations, entitlements and outcomes” concluded Elisha.

The ACAPMA Guide 2021-2022 – Employing Casuals covers the legislative context, engagement documents, leave, payroll, casual conversion and the Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS).  The Guide will be distributed to ACAPMA Members as part of the full Employment Guide Pack, but is available now by request to employment@acapma.com.au

Here to Help

HR Highlights are things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business.  They are provided as general information for you to consider and do not constitute advice.  You should seek further advice on your situation by contacting your legal advisor.  ACAPMA members can access resources and receive advice, guidance and support from the ACAPMA employment professionals via employment@acapma.com.au, it is free for members.  ACAPMA Membership delivers this and more benefits, see; https://acapma.com.au/membership/ for more information.

Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM&IR)
ACAPMA

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