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PART-TIME and CASUAL EMPLOYMENT
In lieu of paid leave, some casual employees are entitled to a 'casual loading' - a higher hourly rate of pay to compensate for not being entitled to paid holiday and/or sick leave1. Survey respondents are asked whether they receive a casual loading. However, around one-third of respondents report not receiving a casual loading, despite being without leave entitlements. This may be the case, or may reflect a lack of awareness that a loading is included in their pay. In some households, responses are provided by one member of the household on behalf of other members, and the respondent may be unaware of whether a casual loading is paid to the other household members.
The third data item used to consider casual employment is whether the survey participant considers their job to be casual. This question is asked in order to provide a different perspective of casual employment. Casual work is often viewed as less secure than other types of employment, as there may not be a guarantee of ongoing work, and hours of work may vary based on availability of hours offered by the employer. These are common characteristics of casual employment2, but they apply to casual workers to varying degrees, and may also apply to non-casual workers. An employee's perception of whether or not their job is casual may be based on commonly recognised features of casual employment such as these, and may or may not reflect the actual conditions of their employment. For example, an employee may perceive that they are guaranteed a minimum workload per week, but this may not align with their employer's understanding.
Despite variability in the experience of casual employment, 96% of respondents' own perception of their casual status aligns with whether they have access to leave entitlements. This indicates that access to leave entitlements as a measure of casual status provides a definition that is broadly aligned with a general understanding of casual employment.
For further discussion on the impact of different definitions of casual employment, see the feature article 'Measures of Casual Employment' in Australian Labour Market Statistics, October 2008 (cat. no. 6105.0). For data on casual employment, see , Forms of Employment (cat. no. 6359.0), Employees Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership (cat. no. 6310.0), or Working Time Arrangements (cat. no. 6342.0). Data on casual status based on leave entitlements (as described above) will also be available quarterly in the Labour Force Survey from mid-2015.
1Fair Work Ombudsman, 2012, 'Casual Employees', fairwork.gov.au
2For details, see Working Time Arrangements (cat. no. 6342.0)
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