Is it casual employment because the worker’s contract says it is? Which case won?
Worker engaged by labour hire company to work in Queensland mine
A man was engaged by a labour hire company that supplied labourers for mining companies.
Between April 2010 and July 2010, the man worked as a “drive-in, drive-out” dump truck driver at a coal mine. He drove six hours from his home in south-east Queensland, worked for a number of days, then had a number of days off.
The labour hire company had different agreements for different employment types. It had the man sign a “Casual or Fixed-term Employment Agreement” to cover the relevant period. This agreement covered duration of employment, assignments with the company, leave entitlements for fixed-term employees and notice of termination periods.
Worker engaged for new fly-in, fly-out position
In July 2010, the man successfully applied for a job as a “fly-in, fly-out” employee at another Queensland coal mine through the same labour hire company. At this time he was given a “Notice of Offer” by the company specifying that he was assigned to the new mine and that the same general terms and conditions in his earlier employment agreement would apply.
When the man commenced work in July 2010 at the new mine, he attended an induction where he was told he would work 12.5 hours per shift under a roster arrangement of seven days on, seven days off, and would be paid weekly.
Worker receives roster for entire year of work
When he commenced the new role, the worker was given a copy of his roster covering the period until December 2010. In January 2011, the mining company gave him a new roster covering the period until December 2011.
After his employment came to an end in April 2012, the worker brought a claim in the Federal Circuit Court for unpaid annual leave entitlements. It was up to the court to decide whether he should in fact receive such a payment.