The business community has been given a temporary reprieve on the uncertainty surrounding the ability for casual employees to “double dip” on both higher pay and permanent entitlements, with the Federal Opposition’s challenge to the government’s part-solution likely postponed until after the 2019 Election.

The Fair Work Amendment (Casual Loading Offset) Regulations 2018 (Regulation) was introduced by Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations Kelly O’Dwyer in December 2018 in response to the Federal Court decision in Workpac v Skene, clarifying the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees in relation to casual employment (see related story here).

It stopped the potential for casual workers to “double dip” by accepting high pay rates (casual loading) during their employment, only to also later claim back-pay for entitlements afforded to permanent employees, such as annual leave and redundancy.

Welcomed as a “common sense solution” by business, the Regulation was under immediate threat after retiring Australian Labor Party (ALP) Senator Doug Cameron introduced a disallowance motion seeking to have it thrown out.

The disallowance motion was scheduled to be voted on last week, however was deferred indefinitely on agreeance by both government and opposition senators.

The result is the Regulation will be automatically re-tabled in the new Parliament following the 2019 Federal Election, while the disallowance motion will be required to be re-tabled should the ALP continue to pursue that course of action.

AMMA will closely monitor, and provide further updates when available, developments regarding these issues, including the progress of two additional cases filed against Workpac (Rossato v Workpac and Petersen v Workpac) in the wake of the Full Federal Court decision in Skene.

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