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Know Your Rights: Christmas Casuals

A LOT of businesses are hiring extra workers to cover the busy holiday period – usually referred to as Christmas casuals. A very quick glance at a job-seeking website immediately brought up over 200 Christmas casual vacancies just within Melbourne.

This is great for young people looking for some extra cashola while they have a break from school or uni, but there are some downsides too.

Here are casual workers’ rights and entitlements that are often ignored by dodgy bosses:

1)      Casuals are entitled to proper training

One of the downsides of being in a job where you’re likely only being kept around for a couple of months is that bosses don’t want to invest time and resources into training you.

You are entitled to a proper induction before you start work; to be taught proper OHS policies and procedures, how to use any equipment or machinery you will be required to use,

Young people are hugely overrepresented in workplace injury stats, and this is exacerbated by the negligence of bosses who refuse to properly train their temporary staff.

2)      Documented payment for ALL of your work

Unpaid trial periods are illegal – you need to be paid for the entire period that you are employed, even while you are being trained up or on a ‘probationary’ period. You should be paid for any set-up or pack-up time at the start or end of your shift.

And for all the reasons mentioned in this previous blog, DO NOT ACCEPT A CASH-IN-HAND JOB. To ensure that you are safe and being paid properly, you should have a contract and receive regular pay slips that document the hours you have worked and rate of pay.

3)      Rights around termination of employment

Unfortunately, casual workers don’t have the same level of job security as part-time and full-time workers, and can be fired without cause or written warning.  A lot of casuals lose their job as soon as the busy holiday period is over – but your boss still needs to let you know that you have been dismissed from the job, rather than just sneakily cutting back your hours each week until you have none left.

If you’re unsure about any of your rights as a holiday casual, call the Young Workers Centre at 1800 714 754!    

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