In the landmark decision of WorkPac Pty Ltd v Rossato & Ors  HCA 23, on 4 August 2021, the High Court of Australia allowed the appeal from the judgment of the Full Federal Court, providing clarity on the characteristics of “casual employment”.
In the case, Mr Rossato, an employee claimed that given he had regular and predictable shifts he was entitled to the benefits of a permanent employee including annual leave, public holidays, personal leave and compassionate leave.
The High Court made the following point regarding casual employment:
- A casual employee is an employee who has no “firm advance commitment” as to the duration of the employee’s work. Having a roster fixed in advance does not establish a commitment to the employment relationship;
- A casual employee is compensated by payment of the casual loading to set off any permanent employment entitlements.
As such, the High Court found that Mr Rossato was indeed a casual employee and was therefore not entitled to annual leave, public holidays, personal leave and compassionate leave.
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