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22 June 2017
Myself and my co-worker are employed Casual Employees. We both work from home based offices. I have been employed as the Client Service Manager and have been with the company for 7.5yrs whilst my colleague is the Client Services Coordinator and has been working for the company for 5yrs.

We both began our jobs as contractors (with our own ABN number and tended invoice every week).We been working on average of 30-40 hours per week.

Then 3 years ago, we were told without warning that we were now going to be casual employees and would be paid fortnightly. We were still paid the same rate of pay, but now paid fortnightly, not weekly. There was never an employment contract or enterprise agreement or any documentation at all, just a call to let us know and we handed over our tax file number etc.

My co-worker and I now find we have great difficulty when it comes to anything financial - to be recognized or able to get any financial recognition (i.e. getting a loan, renting a house etc) etc because we are 'casual' employees. Despite the fact we still work between 35-45 hours per week, this makes no difference to anyone considering our financial position because as a casual employee, we can be fired without notice etc.

We have always got to get our boss to write a letter stating that we are employed for a certain number of hours per week and then we hope that is sufficient enough that we will be accepted for a loan or rental or whatever the circumstance requires. This is somewhat humiliating to say the least especially when we have years of payslips that show we are working as full time workers.

We have asked our boss if we can simply have the phrase 'casual staff' taken off our payslips in favor of the word 'staff' or 'employee', she has stated that by default this cannot happen and it must stay as 'casual employee'. Having look at other people's pay slips we often find that there is no mention as to the status of employment on the pay slip at all, just the usual pay rate, tax, superannuation etc.

1, Do we have a right to ask for a payslip just to have the status of our employment changed or deleted all together? Our boss uses the accounting package 'Xero'. Can her accountant just change the wording?

2. Do we as employees have any right to access to paid holiday leave etc, considering we are working the same amount of hours as a full time employee (and sometimes more hours than a full time employee)We haven't had a pay rise in nearly 4 years.

3. Do we have a right to overtime if we work past normal working hours? We sometimes work overtime in order to get the work done. We have been told (again nothing in writing) that we are expected to work between 9am - 6pm Monday-Friday - during which time we are expected to man the phones and answer all our inquiries etc. But if it is busy we sometimes will start before 9am and finish after 6pm.

We have never been given a roster of hours to work, we just keep track of our own times worked every day and then add our hours to a pay sheet. Thankfully we are both very honest people and certainly don't write down the hours when things may be a bit quiet during the day etc. We stop and start our hours accordingly. We have never been given any working guidelines or conditions of employment - we work out our own lunch time and meal breaks etc.

Even though we don't get paid holidays or sick leave, even if we do have a holiday (or even a day off) we find we have to work through it for at least part of the time. for instance my co worker takes 2 weeks off to go on holiday and ends up having to work 4 hours every day, even though I try and cover her job as well - when the boss steps in to try and cover for either of us, she ends up making matters a whole lot worse for us when we come back. Both of us have had times when we have been hospitalized and undergone operations and still worked whilst in hospital and in recovering from surgery.

We pay for all our own equipment (computers, phones, headsets, stationary etc) and if they break or wear out it is our responsibility to purchase new ones. our boss does pay for our internet and phone bill (an integrated package) though.

4. Should our boss be responsible for replacing or purchasing any equipment we use for this business or pay us an allowance for the use of such things? I know we have both gone through numerous keyboards, headsets and laptops since we began. Should our boss be paying us an allowance for the use of our home offices?

We are asking these questions because we are at the point where we both need to work, and indeed enjoy the work, but we feel more like slaves than workers, and want to know if there is some legal way of sorting this through so that we are not penalized by being casual workers when we in fact are working our 'butts off' and giving our all.

Any information you could provide would be so gratefully received.

Thank you.


Well-Known Member
31 October 2015
Hi Dobbieray,

If you are working regular hours, regular times in the day(roughly) and have been doing it for 5 - 7.5 years, it could be argued that you aren't casual employees. If you were a casual employee your boss wouldn't want to leave the word casual off your payslip because they would be expected to pay leave, etc.

If you truly were casual you should be paid for the hours worked, so yes you should be getting the overtime. I would either speak to your employer or contact the fairwork ombudsman