Business NSW has submitted a draft to the Fair Work Commissions review of awards requesting a new category of employee. Part-time workers will be able to agree to a 10 per cent loading in return for their employer rostering them on when they are needed during their ordinary hours instead of working set rosters.

The unions are attempting to restrict part-time and casual employees to set work hours which will negatively impact hospitality and retail businesses who rely on roster flexibility.

According to a report this week in the Australian Financial Review, the worker would receive all the benefits of permanent employees under the National Employment Standards, such as annual leave and redundancy pay, and be guaranteed a minimum number of hours a week. Their total weekly hours must also be less than 38.

Business NSW chief executive Daniel Hunter said: “Employers remain very concerned about the lack of flexibility that has emerged from each of the three tranches of workplace law changes made by the federal government.”

ACTU has called for the Fair Work Commission to increase the loading to ensure it fairly compensates casuals for all the permanent benefits they trade away or else introduce new forms of paid leave for the workers. It also wants to ensure part-timers are paid overtime for working outside their agreed hours and have greater stability in rostering.

Under its proposal, the new “flexible” part-timers would also have a right to request to convert to full-time or normal part-time employment if they have worked regular hours over 12 months. The employer could only refuse on reasonable grounds.

Business seeks new category of part-time worker (
Modern Awards Review – 2023-24 Submission (