In the past, labourers did not know that they had rights. This ignorance led to exploitation, but this was mitigated during the Homestead Strike in 1892. If you are familiar with this unfortunate incident, you would know that it ended in bloodshed. But it opened the public’s eyes to unfair labour practices.
This unfortunate incident may have happened over a century ago but you would be astounded that unfair labour practices are still carried out. We are not talking about developing countries. It is also happening here in our fair land.
The services of labour attorneys are as relevant as ever. Their legal expertise is needed especially for unfair dismissal. But can you still count it as unjustified if you are still a casual employee? If you want to learn more about this, you should continue reading this article.
What Is a Casual Employee?
You might be surprised to know that there is an enormous number of casual employees in Australia. This figure is a result of industries heavily depending on the availability and flexibility of a casual workforce. If you count as one, you will likely get a higher hourly rate. Other than that, you might also enjoy casual leave loading.
There are also disadvantages to being a casual employee. One of which is that you do not get paid leave, such as annual leave or personal leave. The biggest loss for casual employees is having no job security because your employer can easily decide that your services are no longer needed. That is the end of your employment.
Can a Casual Employee Claim Unfair Dismissal?
It was mentioned earlier that the management can dismiss you with a snap of a finger. But labour attorneys say that casual employees also have the right to claim unfair dismissal. Before things get convoluted, let us discuss how your case can be considered as such.
You must bear in mind that there are significant limits on which casual employees can claim unfair dismissal. You would need the legal advice of an employment lawyer. For you to successfully claim it as unfair dismissal, you are eligible to claim it as such if the law recognises you as moving out of the strict “casual” sphere and into a more permanent-looking role, despite technically being a casual employee.
If you will ask an employment lawyer to further elaborate on this statement, she will ask you to show proof of the following:
- You have been employed for more than 6 months (or 12 months for small business employers).
- Your employment as a casual employee was done on a regular basis (i.e you have been employed on a regular and systematic basis).
- You have a reasonable expectation of continuing work on a regular and systematic basis into the future.
The employment lawyer will urge you to find evidence of this because your employer will likely object to your application for an unfair dismissal remedy. They will do so because they believe that you are not eligible to do so because of your casual status.
We may no longer see labour disputes with bloody endings, but we must still protect our rights. It is only prudent that we are aware of what they are.
If you feel that you have been unjustly treated at work, you should seek the legal services of a respected employment lawyer in Brisbane. At Saines Legal, we take great pride in our ability to get to the heart of the matter and resolve it to the advantage of our clients. Call us now for more information!