Employment entitlements and casual status: Lessons from two Queensland cases

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Whitehouse, G
Rooney, T
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National Institute of Labour Studies
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"Casual status is commonly understood to exclude the entitlements associated with ongoing employment relationships. In Australia, however, the definition of casual employment has never been precise, and a high proportion of ‘casual’ positions are, in effect, regular forms of employment. Recent strategies to improve working conditions have thus sought to move beyond the typical Australian approach of applying a pay loading to compensate (partially) for lack of entitlements, towards attempts to extend some of the benefits of permanent status to more regular forms of casual employment. In this paper we examine two recent cases in Queensland that exemplify these contrasting strategies, highlighting the essential conflict between them, and the way it is compounded by the imprecise delineation of casuals in the Australian system. We note that both strategies are limited by the industrial relations context in which they are situated, and that additional entitlements may not be readily accessible in practice."
Whitehouse, G., Rooney, T., 2003. Employment entitlements and casual status: Lessons from two Queensland cases. Australian Bulletin of Labour, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 62-75