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Landmark Casual Worker Win Exposes Retailers To Backpay

Local businesses and retailers are set to see a lift in personnel costs, following new court rules which provide casual workers with paid leave entitlements – exposing companies to backpay claims worth nearly $8 billion.

Millions of Australian casual workers may now be eligible for a major payout if according to new federal rules, they were eligible for paid leave.

The former ‘loophole’ has been filled following the Federal Court’s ‘redefinition’ of what denotes a casual worker. 

Individuals who are engaged in regular rostered shifts will no longer be classified as casual under new rules, regardless of contracts – gaining annual leave accrual, and carer’s leave.

The new rules seek to remedy over a million casual workers who may have indadvertedly fallen into the ‘permanent casual’ loop hole, and lost entitlements. 

It seeks to label casual workers for irregular and intermittent shifts, rather than consistent work that may occur like part-timers.

Australian Industry Group Chief, Innes Willox, prompts urgent legislative reform to provide certainty for both casuals and businesses alike. 

Commentators have expressed concern that some workers may ‘double dip’ and claim both the casual loading rate and annual leave entitlements.

He predicts the cost to employers around the new annual leave entitlements may reach $8 billion.

The news comes as many local businesses grapple with the uncertainty of COVID19, with some commentators claiming new rules may be a deterrent from engaging more casual workers.

Casual workers currently make up around 20% of the Australian workforce.



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