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Casual work 

Lots of young people work in casual jobs, such as working as a shop assistant or in a restaurant. This can be because they like the flexibility to work around school/university or because it suits their employer.

Casual jobs are normally paid on an hourly or daily rate.

As well as offering flexibility, casual work also usually pays a higher hourly rate because you receive an extra payment or loading on top of the basic hourly rate. This is to make up for not receiving the other benefits paid to permanent workers, such as personal carer's leave (sick leave).

Casuals working under certain awards must be paid a minimum number of hours a day. This is called a minimum engagement. Your boss can not pay you for fewer hours that this minimum.

So if you are a casual working under an award, it is important to check the award pay rate applicable to your job and your minimum engagement. Contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit Fair Work Online [Fair Work Ombudsman].

Disadvantages of casual employment 

While casual workers do get flexibility and normally an extra loading on the basic rate of pay, there are some disadvantages to casual work that you should be aware of.

Generally, as a casual worker you won't have:

  • access to paid personal carer's leave (sick leave), public holidays or annual leave.
  • a guarantee of regular hours to be worked
  • a requirement to be given a roster or to receive notice of roster changes
  • the guarantee of a regular income - so it can be difficult to budget and this can limit your access to arranging personal finance and a loan or taking a holiday
  • any notice of termination period or access to redundancy entitlements
  • limited access to on-the-job training, career development and workplace information.