VIC Casual Employment Contract - Can Employer Force Pay Decrease?

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dammy

Member
22 December 2014
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Hi. I've been working as a cafe manager and the owner wouldn't tell us if we were full time or casual staff. After some discussion he has decided to put me on a casual employment contract which says that I am to get a pay decrease. I have been working for him for 10 months at a higher rate and have now been told if I don't sign this contract I will have no job. Can he legally decrease my pay under employment law? And can he then legally get rid of me if I do not sign this new agreement? Do we have any employee rights?
 

WiserNow

Well-Known Member
10 September 2014
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Ring Fair Work Commission (formerly known as Fair Work Australia) and get their opinion on whether you are deemed casual or full time. In my experience casual is generally higher per hour as there are no holiday or sick leave entitlements; it is built into your hourly rate. If on your payslip you have been getting holiday pay then I would say you are permanent/full time staff. But contact Fair Work and provide them with all the details: http://www.fairwork.gov.au
 

Rod

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
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If not - is the higher rate you were paid before over the award?

This is important. If you are paid over the award rate the employer can reduce the pay. Your choice is then to either accept the reduction or tell the employer where to put their job, nicely of course :)

The employer is not allowed to pay under award rates and can be penalised for doing so. The employer also needs to be providing you with payslips and paying superannuation. These are good negotiating points if the employer hasn't done the right thing :)
 
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Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
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Melbourne, Victoria
Hi Dammy,

I agree with Rod, if the rate per hour is over the minimum pay award then they are entitled to reduce it unless the employment agreement itself prevents the employer from doing so. However, I doubt they would put this restriction in the employment agreement. Hence, check the award rate and check your new employment agreement. If the agreement is silent on whether or not the employer may reduce the rate of pay, then they are presumed to be allowed to so long as it is still above the award. If it is below the award rate, contact Fair Work Ombudsman immediately.