Casual and seasonal employees in the WA private sector and in the WA State public sector are covered by the Long Service Leave Act unless under:
- an award;
- an industrial agreement;
- an employer-employee agreement;
- an agreement between the person and their employer; or
- a State, Territory or Commonwealth statute,
they are entitled to, or eligible to become entitled to, long service leave that is at least equivalent to the long service leave entitlement under the Long Service Leave Act.
Casual and seasonal employees in the construction industry are not covered by the Long Service Leave Act. The Construction Industry Portable Paid Long Service Leave Act 1985 (WA) covers employers and employees in the construction industry. MyLeave administers this scheme - visit www.myleave.wa.gov.au for information.
The majority of State Government awards and industrial agreements do not provide paid long service leave to casual public sector employees.
The Long Service Leave Conditions State Government Wages Employees General Order also does not provide paid long service leave to casual public sector wages employees.
Casual public sector employees who:
- are not entitled to paid long service leave under their award or industrial agreement, are entitled to long service leave under the Long Service Leave Act. This is regardless of the casual loading paid to such employees
- are entitled to paid long service leave under their award or industrial agreement and that entitlement is at least equivalent to the entitlement to long service leave under the Long Service Leave Act, are not entitled to long service leave under the Long Service Leave Act.
A casual or seasonal employee can have continuous employment despite working intermittently and/or with varying hours.
As a general principle, breaks between shifts or seasons where the employer does not provide the employee with work and which are part of the employee’s terms of engagement do not mean:
- the employee has been absent from work
- the employee’s employment has been terminated at the end of the shift or season.
Such breaks between shifts or seasons that are part of the employee’s terms of engagement therefore:
- do not break the employee’s continuity of employment
- can count towards the employee’s period of employment.
However, whether a particular casual or seasonal employee has completed the required period of continuous employment will always depend upon the circumstances of their employment.
For more information on the effect of absences and interruptions on continuous employment, see the What is continuous employment? page
If a casual or seasonal employee’s normal weekly number of hours of work have varied during their period of employment, their normal weekly number of hours is the average weekly number of hours worked by the employee during their period of employment. If the hours worked by the employee over their period of employment are not known, their hours are averaged on the basis of the hours that are known.
Averaging the hours worked by a casual or seasonal employee takes into account periods when their employer did not provide them with work in accordance with their terms of engagement.
Ordinary pay for a casual employee includes their casual loading.
A casual or seasonal employee is entitled to take long service leave in the same manner as a full time or part time employee.
- Long service leave must be granted and taken, subject to any agreement between the employer and employee, as soon as reasonably practicable after it becomes due.
- Leave is to be taken in one continuous period.
- However, an employer and employee may agree to the employee taking leave in separate periods of not less than one week.
- Where an employer and employee have not agreed on when the employee is to take leave, the employer cannot refuse the employee taking any period of leave to which they became entitled more than 12 months before. This leave can be taken at any time that is suitable to the employee. The employee must, however, give the employer at least 2 weeks’ notice of the period during which they intend taking leave.
During a period of paid leave, a casual or seasonal employee would not be able to be rostered or called into work.
A casual or seasonal employee’s entitlement to long service leave when their employment ceases due to resignation, dismissal, redundancy, or when the employee dies depends upon the length of their period of continuous employment and whether they were dismissed for serious misconduct. Visit the What is the entitlement when employment ceases page for more information.