The Closing the Loopholes Bill received royal assent last week, so the timetable for the implementation of the changes is now known.  With some elements in effect now, and others a mere 6 months away, it is vital that all operators have an understanding of how these new laws will impact their operations.

Timing Review

Practical Impacts on the Fuel Industry

“Practically the changes to the definition of employment and casual employees have little impact on the operations of fuel wholesale, transport and retail operations.  Members are reminded that it is vital that they communicate the status of the employees on commencement with the engagement documents, so there is a clear written record of the agreed commencement status”, explains ACAPMAs Elisha Radwanowski.

“As always, it is important that employers understand the unique operation of casual employment, including the right for casuals to reject shifts, without explanation or adverse impact on their employment.  This is the employee benefit side of the casual equation.  Casuals have no firm advance commitment to ongoing employment or promise of fixed shifts, but at the same time they can accept or reject shifts as it suits the, no questions asked”

“It is important that employers understand this element and ensure that systems onsite are set up to protect that right”, explains Elisha.

“As long as the status is communicated in writing on commencement, the employee is engaged and treated as a casual, paid and documented as a casual, and any request for conversion to permanent is considered and not unreasonably refused, the change in definition, while confusing for some given how recently a definition was first set, should have minimal impact on operations at a business level”, notes Elisha.

One area that is going to be a significant change to the operation of fuel transport, wholesale and retail businesses is the operation of casual conversion.

“When the new laws come into effect in August 2024 the requirement for businesses to send casual conversion letters will be replaced with a requirement to respond to requests for conversion only”, explains Elisha.

ACAPMA is updating the Engaging Casuals Guide now to incorporate these changes and the 2024/2025 publication will reflect the changes when it is sent to ACAPMA Members in June/July 2024.

Legislative Review

A review of the legislation has been set for August 2026, when the legislation will have been in operation for 2 years.

Here to Help

Through the year ACAPMA Employment Professionals are available to assist members via employment@acapma.com.au.

This article is general in nature and covers things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business. They are provided as general advice and you should seek further advice on your situation by contacting one of ACAPMA Employment Professionals its free for members. ACAPMA membership is affordable at only $860 per year for a single site and valuable with sites gaining HR advice support and representation as well as a raft of other benefits and discounts.

Visit: https://acapma.com.au/membership/   to apply for ACAPMA membership.

Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM&IR)
ACAPMA

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