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Ask Maddy: Can I change from casual to permanent?

Ask Maddy: Can I change from casual to permanent?

Madeleine Harradence, Assistant Secretary of ANMF (Vic Branch)

There are a range of answers to that question, depending on your current circumstances.

Clearly you can apply for a permanent full- or part-time vacancy, and if successful, you will become permanent.

If you are casual, but work reasonably predictable hours or shifts, then you may already be wrongly classified as casual, when you should more properly be part-time. Clause 18.2 of the EBA recognises that a part-time employee’s hours may vary from week to week by mutual agreement.

A casual is defined as someone who:

(i)            is made an offer of employment on the basis that the Employer makes no firm advance commitment to continuing and indefinite work according to an agreed pattern of work (e.g. relief work such as replacing an employee on an unplanned absence); and

(ii)           accepts the offer of employment on that basis; and

(iii)          is an Employee as a result of that acceptance.

If you work on a continuing, indefinite basis and work shifts that are effectively vacant (as distinct from backfilling someone on leave) then you really can’t be casual.

What about the EBA casual conversion clause?

If you were:

  1. employed as at 27 September 2021 in a casual position; and
  2. been in that position for 12 months or more, and
  3. for at least six months had worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis, without significant adjustment

you should have received a written notice (within 21 days of 27 September 2021) from your employer:

  1. offering to convert your position to part-time employment that is consistent with the regular pattern of hours worked during that period.


  1. explaining why such an offer was not made.

Is it too late to make a request?

No. A casual employee may make a request to convert to part-time if:

  1. you has been employed by the employer for a period of at least 6 months; and
  2. you have, in the 6 months preceding your request, worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis which, without significant adjustment, and
  3. all of the following apply:
    1. you have not refused an offer to be part-time or full-time in that 6-month period; or
    2. your employer has not, at any time during that 6-month period, given you a written notice explaining why such an offer wasn’t made.

How do I make a request?

The request to your employer must:

  1. be in writing
  2. clearly state that it is a request for you to convert to full-time or part-time reflecting the shifts you have been working.

Your employer must give you a written response to the request within 21 days after the request is given to them, stating whether they grant or refuse the request.

Your employer must not refuse the request unless:

  1. the Employer has consulted with you;
  2. there are reasonable grounds the refuse the request; and
  3. the reasonable grounds are based on facts that are known, or reasonably foreseeable, at the time of refusing the request.

What are ‘reasonable grounds for refusing a request’?

  1. it would require a significant adjustment to your hours of work for you to be employed as a full-time employee or part-time employee
  2. your position will cease to exist in the period of 12 months after making the request;
  3. the hours of work you are required to perform will be significantly reduced in the period of 12 months after making the request;
  4. there will be a significant change in either or both of the following in the period of 12 months after giving the request:
    1. the days on which your hours of work are required to be performed; or
    2. the times at which your hours of work are required to be performed;

which cannot be accommodated within the days or times you are available to work during that period.

What if my employer grants my request?

If your employer grants the request, they must, within 21 days of the day the request is given, provide written notice to you of the following:

  1. whether you are converting to full-time employment of part-time employment
  2. your pattern of hours or shifts after the conversion takes effect
  3. the day your conversion to full-time or part-time employment takes effect.

However, the Employer must discuss with you matters they intend to specify (above) before giving the notice.

You then convert on the day of the first full pay period that starts after the day the notice is given, unless you both agree to another day.

Will my previous casual service count?

Yes, for increments within grades, and for long service leave.

Your start date for accruing LSL will stay the same, but you will start accruing LSL at the higher accrual rate of 1.73 weeks per years of service, instead of .866 weeks per year of service as a casual registered nurse or midwife. Note that the accrual rate for casual enrolled nurses is the same as that for a full- or part-time enrolled nurse.

You will commence accrual of annual leave and personal leave from the date of your conversion.

You will have access to paid compassionate leave, study leave, exam leave and professional development leave (and a range of other benefits) from your conversion date.