Terminating a casual employee

Hi. My name is Melanie Thorley, and I’m the Principle Solicitor of MJT Law.

This is Tips Tuesday.

Do you have casual workers? Do you think you can terminate them without notice for any reason? The short answer is yes, but that reason also must not be unfair, unjust, or unreasonable. The Fair Work Act states that the criteria for making an unfair dismissal application includes a certain period of employment. If you’re a small business, less than fifteen employees, then that period is twelve months. If you are not a small business, fifteen or more employees, then it’s six months. The Fair Work Act also states that a casual employee can count their period of employment only if the casual work was regular and systematic, and there was a reasonable expectation of continuing employment.

It’s okay to terminate a casual worker without notice, as long as the reason is not unfair, unjust, or unreasonable. The thing to think about is why you are terminating that employee? Is it because they took a day off for being sick, or did they just not turn up for a shift? The reason will make all the difference.

If you’re a small business, you can use the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code, and go through the checklist when you decide it’s time to terminate an employee, even if they are casual. Of course, if you have any questions, you can call me. The first thirty minutes is free. Thanks for watching.

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