A warehouse or retail store may need to hire extra staff during a busy period, such as over the Christmas period. A retired employee may be on call to cover when permanent employees are on sick leave. It is important for employers to understand the difference between the notions of casual, part time and fixed term employment.

Casual employees are employees whose level and hours of work cannot be accurately anticipated. They have the same employment rights as full time workers and are entitled to holiday pay, sick pay, bereavement leave and four weeks leave per year.

A part time appointment is suitable for employees whose jobs have set responsibilities which take a set number of hours each week. The responsibilities and hours can be specified in the employee’s employment agreement.

A fixed term agreement can be utilised for a particular job that will take a set time period, or when a certain event occurs, or the required work for the job is completed. It is particularly suitable for seasonal work such as during busy Christmas and New Year periods. The agreement must specify a genuine reason for the work being for a fixed term, how the term will end and when. An employer must ensure the employee’s employment ends at the end date; otherwise there is a risk the employee who continues working after the fixed term ends may later be regarded as a permanent employee.

This post was published in the FMCG Business magazine