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Minimum notice period to cancel a casual employees shift

29 November 2022

At times, unplanned events such as severe weather conditions could potentially impact the shifts for your casual team. Here at Impact HR, we want to provide you with information you need to you help plan ahead and understand your obligations.  

Here are some important points to remember if you have employed casuals (that do not work regular, systemic shifts) and want to provide them with fair and reasonable notice of the cancellation of a shift.

  • Unless specified in your award, as long as the casual team member does not start/show upfor the shift the minimum engagement rule does not apply.
  • As an employer, you also need to ensure you have a process in place to notify casual employees of a cancellation of shift with reasonable notice (to avoid the casual showing up for the cancelled shift). Some examples include:
    • During the induction, notify new starters of the process the business follows for cancellation of shifts (For example, if severe weather warnings are in place, you will receive a call 24 hours prior to your shift to notify you of the cancellation.)
    • Include the cancellation of shift process in policies and procedures
    • Notify the casual employee as early as possible (at least 24 hours’ notice if possible) by phone call or text message (request response to ensure the message has been read) of the cancellation of the shift. Remember, what is considered reasonable notice, may be dependent on your business, award coverage and the circumstances.
  • If the casual employee has attended work to be told they are no longer required and sent home – different rules apply (you must return to your award to understand your obligations)
  • If the casual employee is a regular, systematic employee a different rule may also apply. (As above, you must return to your award to understand your obligations)

We are here to help and support you put a process in place to ensure you meet your obligations when cancelling a casual team member’s shift. Call us on 1300 474 672, or send us an email if you need help.

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