High Court decision on Rosatto casual case

It’s confirmed! Mr Rossato was a casual employee.

On 4 August 2021, the High Court unanimously overturned the controversial May 2020 decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court in the Workpac v Rossato case.

If you have been following our commentary over the last couple of years regarding the Skene v Workpac case, and later the Rossato v Workpac case, you will be relieved to hear that a final decision has been made which puts the matters finally to rest. In a nutshell, these cases centred on an argument about whether the employees were permanent rather than casual, and whether they should have access to entitlements usually reserved to permanent employees such as annual leave, given the ongoing nature of their employment (even though the employees had also received a casual loading).

On 4 August 2021, the High Court unanimously overturned the controversial May 2020 decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court in the Workpac v Rossato case, which found Rossato was a permanent employee.

The High Court determined that the Federal Court’s earlier decision had been flawed and confirmed that Rossato had been a casual employee all at times during his employment with Workpac. This decision has also clarified the common law meaning of a casual which aligns with the definition recently inserted into the Fair Work Act.

This decision also clarifies a key aspect of casual employment is when no firm advance commitment was intended by the parties. This further confirms the importance of casual employees being issued with quality employment contracts at the beginning of their employment with terms that align with this High Court decision. Where the employment agreement clearly sets out the intention that the relationship is of a casual nature, employees will have little prospect of success of claiming otherwise.

Do you employ casuals who haven’t been issued with a quality employment agreement that clearly sets out their casual status in accordance with the Fair Work Act?

Industryus HR’s employment contracts are quality documents that will help to reduce your exposure to disputes. Get in touch on 07 5655 4047 if you would like to have a confidential discussion about your business’ casual workforce. Or, book a Free Introductory Call by following this link.

This article does not constitute advice. To read the High Court judgement, click here.

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