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Resignation: do casuals have to give notice?

Does a long-term casual employee have to give notice of resignation?
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Resignation: do casuals have to give notice?

Resignation: do casuals have to give notice?

15 September 2020

Does a long-term casual employee have to give notice of resignation?

This question was recently sent to our Workplace Advice Line.
 
Q Our company employs a long-term casual employee who has worked regular shifts for about 15 months. He has just told us he will be finishing work in two days’ time. We've asked him for two weeks’ notice as prescribed by the National Employment Standards.

As he has been employed for more than 12 months, does he have to give the same period of notice as an employer under the National Employment Standards? He works as an administrative assistant.
 
A Generally, the answer is no. The required period of notice of termination to be given by an employee upon their resignation is determined by the applicable modern award, enterprise agreement or the terms of an individual’s contract of employment.

Most modern awards require an employee to provide the same period of notice as that required by the employer – that is, the appropriate notice required under the National Employment Standards, although there is usually no requirement on an employee to give additional notice based on the age of the employee concerned.

In this case, the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010 (cl 13.2) refers to the National Employment Standards in relation to the required notice of termination to be given by an employee to the employer.

Under the National Employment Standards, an employer is NOT required to provide a period of notice of termination to a casual employee. This would include a long-term casual employee. As the award refers to the minimum notice provisions under the Standards, a casual employee is not required to provide a period of notice to an employer upon resignation.
 
The terms of an individual’s contact of employment may require a period of notice be given by a casual employee, but it is not a requirement under the applicable modern award nor the National Employment Standards.


Long-term casual employee

While the statutory minimum period of notice of termination provisions under the National Employment Standards does not apply to a ‘long-term casual employee’, this category of casual employee is usually able to access certain employment entitlements under the Fair Work Act.

This includes entitlements such as parental leave and unfair dismissal. An eligible casual employee is usually defined as a casual employee who has been engaged by a particular employer on a regular and systematic basis for a sequence of periods of employment (more than 12 months for parental leave), and who would have a reasonable expectation of continued employment.


Unfair dismissal

When calculating an employee’s relevant qualifying period of employment, periods of complying casual employment could be added to periods of full-time or part-time employment. The six-month qualifying period must end in dismissal but the Fair Work Act (s.384(2)(a)) suggests the possibility that the complying period of casual employment might be earlier provided the period of continuous service extends up to the point of dismissal or notice of dismissal.
 
The bottom line: Generally, a casual employee is not required to give a period of notice to an employer when resigning from their employment, unless otherwise prescribed by the applicable modern award, enterprise agreement or the terms of the individual’s contract of employment.
 

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