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High Court ruling stops workers double dipping

Oliver Peterson
Article image for High Court ruling stops workers double dipping

Casual workers will not be able to access full-time incentives, such as annual leave and sick pay, after a High Court ruling today.

It comes after a casual miner, Robert Rossato, won a case in the Federal Court last year against labour hire company Workpac.

Then, the Federal Court’s ruling implied long term casual workers who worked regular shifts were entitled to the same benefits as permanent staff.

But today’s High Court decision disagreed – unanimously declaring workers are not entitled to these incentives.

Australian Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sally McManus says it’s a loss for workers.

“I think it’s a big problem for our country because employers can basically give you a letter of employment and call you a casual, take away all your leave entitlements and you’re a casual forever,” she told Perth LIVE’s Oliver Peterson.

“If you’re doing a permanent job, you should have permanent rights.”

The High Court decision stops casual employees from taking their businesses to court, with an estimated $40 billion remaining in the hands of businesses around the country.

Employment relation specialist at Employsure Nicholas Hackenberg believes casual loading won’t change due to the ruling.

“A casual employee will get more money due to their casual loading which will compensate them for things such as the absence of annual leave,” he said.

“You’re a casual whether you’re employed by a labour hire firm or you’re directly employed by a big mining company and we still need to treat everybody like they are a casual rather than having two different standards,” Mr Hackenberg said.

Press PLAY to hear all the details about the High Court ruling 

Oliver Peterson