Government Intervening to Combat “Double Dipping”

In welcome news for business Australia wide, on Tuesday Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer unveiled a plan to combat the recent “double dipping” with the creation of a new regulation.

The recent case of Work Pac v Skene has far reaching implications where casual employees and business were concerned. The casual truck driver in this case was awarded the entitlement to annual leave payout, even though he had been receiving a casually loaded rate for the period of his employment. This prompted business to call on government to define what a casual worker was, and what entitlements they were eligible for.

The 25% casual loading is to compensate for the entitlements not granted to a casual employee; personal leave, annual leave and public holiday pay, as well as the lack of guarantee of work and short notice requirements. By also claiming the annual leave portion of these entitlements, many see this as double dipping.

The intervention of the Industrial Relations Minister is set to create a shakeup in the casual workforce market. Not only will the new regulations address the double dipping issue, but are also looking to address the rights of the casual workforce for conversion to full-time or part-time. The government is looking to have this new legislation passed before the election in May 2019.

Business will welcome these changes with open arms as the potential for follow on claims from the Work Pac v Skene case opened an $8M can of worms with a class action suit set to be filed against Work Pac, Hays, Programmed and One Key Resources.

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