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Building and Construction General Onsite Award - Employment types

There are many different ways to engage employees. To avoid disputes it is important you are aware of the entitlements each type of employment entails.

Employees under the Building and Construction General On-Site Award (Onsite Award) can be employed in one of the following categories: 

  1. Daily hire
  2. Full-time weekly hire
  3. Part-time weekly hire
  4. Casual.

Under the Onsite Award, at the time of engagement an employer must inform each employee, in writing, of the terms of their engagement and whether they are to be daily hire, full-time, part-time or casual employees.

1. Daily hire employees

Daily hire employees are a unique classification under the Onsite Award and are:

  • engaged on a day-to-day basis; and  
  • paid an additional loading to compensate them for loss of wages for periods of unemployment between jobs.

Daily hire employees are entitled to:

  • Paid leave, including the payment of any accrued annual leave on termination.
  • One day’s notice of termination or one day’s pay in lieu of notice.
  • Notice given at, or before the employee’s usual starting time that employment will cease at the end of the working day.
  • One hour prior to termination to gather, clean, sharpen, pack and transport tools.

Only qualified trades and labourers can be engaged as daily hire employees. 

2. Full-time weekly hire employment 

A full-time employee is an employee who works an average of 38 ordinary hours per week. A full-time employee is an employee who is on a permanent, or fixed term contract. 

3. Part-time weekly hire employment 

A part-time employee is an employee who works on average less than 38 ordinary hours per week but has reasonably predictable hours of work. Part-time employees must be paid at least the ordinary time hourly rate for the relevant classification and pro-rata entitlements (annual leave/personal leave) for those hours.

Before commencing part-time employment, the employer must inform the part-time employee and put the following in writing: 

  • That the employee may work part-time.
  • The days and hours the employee will be working. 
  • The starting and finishing times of each day.
  • The classification level which the employee fits under.
  • The period of part-time employment.

Terms may be varied, but only in writing and with the consent of both the employee and employer. A copy of the agreement and any variations should be provided to the employee by the employer. 

4. Casual employment

Under the Fair Work Act, a person is a casual employee if:

  • they are offered a job; and
  • the offer does not include a firm advance commitment that the work will continue indefinitely with an agreed pattern of work; and
  • they accept the offer knowing that there is no firm advance commitment and become an employee.

Before commencing casual employment, the employer must inform the employee in writing: 

  • That the employee is employed as a casual. 
  • Who the employer is. 
  • The job to be performed.
  • The classification level which the employee fits under. 
  • The relevant rate of pay that is described in the Award as the ‘ordinary time hourly rate’.

Under the National Employment Standards, casual employees are entitled to:

  • Access to a pathway to become a permanent employee.
  • 2 days unpaid carer’s and 2 days unpaid compassionate leave per occasion.
  • 5 days unpaid family and domestic violence leave (in a 12 month period).
  • Unpaid community service leave.

Casual employees are not entitled to:

  • Paid leave.
  • Notice of termination.
  • Redundancy pay.

Casual employees must be paid a loading of 25% on top of the ordinary time hourly rate and a minimum of four hours’ work per engagement plus any relevant fares and travel allowances. The 25% loading is paid as compensation for the above-mentioned entitlements that casual employees are not entitled to.

Overtime and penalty rates also apply to casual employees.

Converting casual employment to full-time or part-time employment

The National Employment Standards provide that a casual employee may be entitled to convert to permanent employment if they:

  • have been employed for 12 months,
  • have worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis for at least the last 6 months, and
  • could continue working that regular pattern of hours as a permanent employee without significant change.

HIA’s infosheet Changes to Casual Employment: Casual Conversion provides more detail regarding casual conversion requirements.

To find out more, contact HIA InfoCentre

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