Workers Rights Question


Workers Rights Question

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scubaroo
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Ok guys,

Little bit of a question im trying to help my mother with, ive sat on fair work for an hour to no avail and my workplace law knowledge actually doesn't exist and can't find anything specific but... here's the situation. 

My mother is 66, she works 15 hours a week in a drycleaners, she is CASUAL and has had the exact same hours for 13 years, picking up extract when she can. 
She has told her boss in writing that she is retiring in November. 
The boss has now employed a new person (also casual) to take over her hours and so my mother's hours have been tapered down where she will be losing more and more hours until November. 

Is this legal?
I thought a casual worker over 65 had the right to carry on their hours until they retired, can anyone clarify? 
She was trying to do the right thing by the boss, rather than just saying in November "see ya!" Which she probably shouldve done. 
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If she's been working the same hours regularly for that long, she could go him for actually being Part-time and should have had entitlements


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2 Years Ago by View from the fence
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scubaroo - 12 May 2017 12:49 PM
Ok guys,

Little bit of a question im trying to help my mother with, ive sat on fair work for an hour to no avail and my workplace law knowledge actually doesn't exist and can't find anything specific but... here's the situation. 

My mother is 66, she works 15 hours a week in a drycleaners, she is CASUAL and has had the exact same hours for 13 years, picking up extract when she can. 
She has told her boss in writing that she is retiring in November. 
The boss has now employed a new person (also casual) to take over her hours and so my mother's hours have been tapered down where she will be losing more and more hours until November. 

Is this legal?
I thought a casual worker over 65 had the right to carry on their hours until they retired, can anyone clarify? 
She was trying to do the right thing by the boss, rather than just saying in November "see ya!" Which she probably shouldve done. 

I have bugger all knowledge on workplace law either.

My thoughts as a random bystander though:
- has she had that same boss for 13 years?
- that's a pretty shit way to treat an employee of over 10 years.
- I reckon the Casual part is where it will get thru the laws etc. I feel like legally the employer will be covered.
- Not morally though.
- Just goes to show that the whole "treat others how you would like to be treated" is something that all humans need to pick up, not just the select few good ones like your mother.
- Am I right in assuming working in an "unskilled" workplace and "only" working 15 hours a week that if she just retired now she wouldn't be worse off money wise, whether that be thru the dole or whatever?
- Don't businesses get some tax positive by hiring people in your mothers age bracket now? If so, would it be "easy" for her to pick up similar hours elsewhere for a few months at a different place? I know it isn't obviously the ideal scenario for her but it seems like a pretty encouraging option to me.
- I don't envy you or your mother at all. I'm currently having a bit of to-and-fro with Centrelink about something and it is a genuine nightmare.
- Good luck with it pal. 
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I worked for a union for a while, albeit not in an industry with a lot of casual work.

Under the fair work act your mother could be described as a "long term casual", which would entitle her to things like unfair dismissal protections and some other workplace rights given to permanent part time workers.

As for maintenance of hours, that's a little less clear in the act. Businesses do have control over rostering.

If you could prove that the employer deliberately cut her hours on the basis of her age or soon to be retirement status, then you could have a case under anti-discrimination legislation.

The problem with casual work is that you basically sacrifice permanency, sick leave and security of workplace rights for higher pay. So many businesses do this - employ people on completely regular shifts for years.

My advice - if your mother is a union member, ring them and explain it.

If not, the union may ask for up front dues to run the case straight away.

Alternatively you can ring the fair work ombudsman but they have a patchy record.
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View from the fence - 12 May 2017 12:58 PM
If she's been working the same hours regularly for that long, she could go him for actually being Part-time and should have had entitlements

there is definitely some movement on this

check out this page for some ideas.

http://workplaceinfo.com.au/legislation/payroll/analysis/employers-unaware-of-rights-of-long-term-casuals#.WRZaC2iGPIU





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Yes, you can vary a casual staff members' working hours, even a long-term casual. After this length of time, it would ideally have been in writing and with a few weeks notice.

On the other hand, 15 years of the exact same weekly hours and shift times will be a slam dunk ruling that she was a permanent part-time staff member and owed annual leave on top of her hourly wage.

She would need to lodge a case with FWA and present evidence such as payslips & proof of hours to an FWA appointed mediator or possibly judge.

Try the union, but they might be a bit unhelpful if she is only joining now, a few months from retirement and when she needs help. It's not unheard of for them to ask for memebership back fees. Also keep trying to get through to FWA.
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