Casual work during the holiday season

Getting a casual job over the holiday season? The Fair Work Ombudsman has some important information to share about casual work.

14 Dec 2020

You may be looking for a casual job over the holiday season. It’s important for you to know what it means to be a casual employee, and understand what unpaid trials are.

A casual employee:

  • has no guaranteed hours of work
  • usually works irregular hours
  • generally gets a casual loading, that is on top of the ordinary rate of pay for a full-time or part-time worker
  • doesn't get paid sick or annual leave
  • can end employment without notice, unless notice is required by a registered agreement, award or employment contract.

Casuals may also be entitled to penalty rates, if they work overtime, on weekends and public holidays. You can use the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Pay and Conditions Tool to work out your minimum pay rates.

Unpaid trials

Sometimes an employer might ask a person to do an unpaid trial while they evaluate them for a vacant job. Unpaid work trials are only OK if it’s for the purpose of demonstrating the skills required for the job. Depending on the nature of the work, this could range from one hour to one shift. Any period beyond what is reasonably required to demonstrate your suitability must be paid at the appropriate minimum rate of pay.

Find out more about unpaid trials on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website.

Did you know?

The annual wage increase for the second group of awards including the construction, manufacturing, horticulture and a range of other industries, started from the first full pay period on or after 1 November 2020. Check your pay rate if you are covered by these awards.

Christmas casual - Fair Work Ombudsman message