Millions of Australian workers could soon have extra money in the bank after a court ruling, which could cost employers $ 8B in late payments – so are you having a great payday?
- Temporary employees with regular services are now entitled to annual and personal leave
- The decision affects between 1.6 and 2.2 million casual workers across Australia
- National Minister of Mining Union Tony Maher described the decision as ‘fantastic’
- But employer groups are concerned that they could end up with billion-dollar bills
Millions of casual workers are now entitled to paid time off after a groundbreaking statement from employers feared they could cost $ 8 billion.
The decision, taken by the Federal Court on Wednesday, affects between 1.6 and 2.2 million temporary workers across Australia.
The court ruled that employees with regular roster shifts are not casual workers, even though they are described in their employment contracts.
Under the new definition, ‘loose’ employees are therefore entitled to annual leave with pay, paid personal leave / carer leave and paid leave.
Casual workers are now entitled to paid personal and annual leave. Pictured: An employee with a face mask works in a store during the COVID-19 pandemic
National Secretary of Mining Union, Tony Maher, welcomed the decision, hitting employers for hiring casual workers on full-time hours to save money.
“This is a fantastic decision that puts an end to the ‘permanently informal’ group that has become a scourge in the coal mining industry and the workforce,” said Mr Maher.
“If a job is full-time, regular and current, it is permanent and it deserves the security and rights that come with permanent work.”
But the decision also raised concerns among employers’ organizations that temporary workers would be able to “ double-dip ” – claiming annual vacation and incidental loading rates, which are worth about 25 percent of their wages.
They say they may be forced to repay up to $ 8 billion to workers across the economy, with retail and hospitality workers among the biggest winners.
The Australian Industry Group represents 6,000 employers and issued a statement on Wednesday claiming that the decision would ultimately harm the economy.
“Today’s decision … highlights the need for urgent legislative reform to provide security for businesses and casual workers,” said the group’s CEO, Innes Willox.
“An employee who deals with an incidental and paid load … may not turn around years later and claim the rights of a permanent employee, such as annual leave.
More to come