1 November 2015 – statement on casual staff penalty rates

The following statement was provided in response to questions about how casuals should be paid penalty rates:

In August 2015, the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) raised a dispute with the department relating to the application of clauses F13 (Overtime) and F17 (Shift Work) of the Department of Human Services Agreement 2011-2014 (the Agreement) to irregular and intermittent (casual) employees.

The department takes its obligation to pay staff in accordance with the agreement seriously and considers that it is applying the overtime and shift work provisions correctly.

Casual employees are paid a 20 per cent loading under the Agreement. Where they agree to work a shift on Saturday, the department pays an additional loading of 50 per cent in accordance with the Agreement.

If casual employees are asked to work additional hours when they are already at work on a Saturday, they will be paid overtime (time and a half for the first three hours and double time after the first three hours) in accordance with the Agreement.

The parties have met to discuss the dispute, but are unable to agree on the operation of these clauses. The CPSU has escalated the dispute to the Fair Work Commission.