Temporary employment will now be referred to as fixed term temporary employment.
Casual and fixed term temporary employees will now be able to request conversion to permanent employment after each year of continuous employment in an agency. This employment period may include a combination of both fixed term temporary and casual employment. The decision is not appealable.
Conversion may occur where:
- there is a continuing need for the employee in the role or in a role that is substantially the same
- the merit principle is met
- it is viable and appropriate to convert, having regard to the genuine operational requirements of the agency.
This does not apply to non-industrial instrument employees. The directive does not override more beneficial conversion conditions in an industrial instrument.
For casual employees, agencies will now be required to review employment for conversion after two years of continuous employment and annually while the employment continues. This aligns with the current temporary employment conversion approach.
Continuous employment defined
Continuously employed is defined in the PS Act and, in relation to a person employed in a department for a period, as:
- continuously as a fixed term temporary employee for the period or
- as a casual employee on a regular and systematic basis during the period or
- continuously as an employee mentioned in subparagraphs (a) and (b) for the period.
This means that if a person has been continuously employed on both a temporary basis and on a casual basis, those periods of service are totalled and together constitute the period of service that needs to be considered.
Transitional provisions – fixed term temporary staff
The amended legislation also has some transitional provisions for fixed term temporary and casual employees, which have been included to help provide a smooth transition to the new requirements.
Under these transitional provisions, there are seven categories that a fixed term temporary who was continuously employed by a department may fall into as at 14 September 2020:
- An employee who has less than one year of continuous employment
- An employee who has at least one year but not more than two years of continuous employment
- An employee who has at least one year but not more than two years of continuous employment but the employee does not ask for a decision under section 293 of the PS Act and instead asks for a decision under section 294A
- An employee who has two or more years of continuous employment
- An employee who has two or more years of continuous employment and was entitled to a decision under the Act before it was amended
- An employee who has two or more years of continuous employment and a deemed decision not to convert had been made under the Act before it was amended
- An employee who has two or more years of continuous employment and had appealed a decision under the Act before it was amended
When does it start?
These changes have now started and you can request a review if you have been employed continuously for one year or more.
If your employment was already being reviewed for conversion but a decision had not been made at 14 September 2020, the decision will be made based on the rules applying before 14 September 2020. You do not need to take any action. Contact your human resource team for more information.
If you are a casual employee and have been employed continuously for two or more years, your agency will undertake a conversion review when you become eligible. You may, but do not need to, request this review