Casual VS Part-time and Full-time employment

what are the key differences you should know?

A Casual Employee:

  • Has no guaranteed hours of work
  • Usually works irregular hours (but can work regular hours)
  • Doesn’t get paid sick or annual leave
  • Can end employment without notice, unless notice is required by a registered agreement award or employment contract.

How is casual different to full-time or part-time?

Full-time and part-time employees have ongoing employment (or a fixed-term contract) and can expect to work regular hours each week. They are entitled to be paid sick leave and annual leave.

Full-time and part-time employees must give or receive notice to end the employment.

What do casual employees get?

Casual employees are entitled to:

  • A higher hourly pay rate that equivalent full-time or part-time employees. This is called a ‘casual loading’ and is paid because they don’t get benefits such as sick or annual leave.
  • 2 days unpaid carer’s leave and 2 days unpaid compassionate leave per occasion
  • Unpaid community service leave.

Long term casual employees

Some casual employees work regular hours or the same days each week for a long period and become ‘long term casuals’.

Long term casuals stay as casual employees unless they formally change to full-time or part-time employment.  They don’t automatically become permanent employees, even if they are called ‘permanent casual’. They get their casual entitlements regardless of how regularly they work or how long they work for.

After 12 months of regular employment, and if it’s likely the regular employment will continue, a casual employee can:

  • Request flexible working arrangements
  • Take parental leave

They don’t get paid leave or notice of termination, even if they work regularly for a long time.



A full-time employee:

A full-time employee has ongoing employment and works, on average, around 38 hours each week. The actual hours of work for an employee in a particular job or industry are agreed between the employer and the employee and/or set by an award or registered agreement.

Changing from full-time to full-time to part-time or casual employment

An employee and an employer may agree to end an employee’s full-time position and change to part-time or casual employment.

When changing from full-time or part-time to casual the usual rules for ending employment apply, including:

  • Giving or paying the employee the required notice
  • Paying out leave and any other entitlements owed.

When an employee doesn’t agree to change

An employer may be able to change an employee’s full-time employment to part-time or casual employment without agreement from the employee.

Important factors to consider are:

  • Does the employment contract, registered agreement or award let the employer change the employee’s work hours without the employee agreeing?
  • Does the change make a new employment contract or change an existing contract?
  • What entitlements, such as annual leave or redundancy, need to be paid out?
  • How much notice does the employer need to give the employee?
  • We’re unable to provide advice about employment contracts, including changes to an employee’s hours. You will need to seek legal advice to find out more about your situation.

An employer can’t change or end an employee’s employment:

  • For a discriminatory reason
  • Because the employee has exercised a workplace right
  • For another reason protected by law


A Part-time employee:

  • Works, on average, less than 38 hours per week.
  • Usually works regular hours each week
  • Is entitled to the same benefits as a full-time employee, but on a pro rata basis
  • Is a permanent employee or on a fixed-term contract

How part-time is different to full-time or casual

Full-time employees work longer hours. On average, they work 38 hours per week.

Casual employees usually work irregular hours but they don’t get paid sick leave or annual leave.

What part-time employees get

Part-time employees get the same minimum entitlements (such as sick leave and holiday leave) as a full-time employee, based on how many hours they work each week.


For more information on types of employees and employee entitlements visit 2017. Types of employees. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 18 August 2017].