Open for Business


What’s the difference between a casual employee and a contractor?

9 February 2023

You have a specific project which needs to be completed or you don’t know how many hours you are going to need to fulfil your current workload, you know you need to bring a new person in to help get things done but should they be a casual or a contractor? What’s the difference?

This is a tricky question, and it is sometimes hard to tell what is the best course of action. A snapshot of the differences follows but if you need more specific advice, please give us a call on 1300 474 672, or send us an email.

Casual employees


Are employees

Not an employee

Sign a casual employment agreement

Signs a contractor agreement and statement of works

Paid an hourly rate

Generally, use their own tools and equipment to complete the work

Not guaranteed hours of work however awards require minimum hours per shift

Unless agreed, generally the contractor completes the work themselves

Can work regular or irregular hours

May be paid an hourly, weekly or monthly rate or set amount for completion of work

Have no entitlement to paid annual or personal leave

Used for a project or a set period

Can access 2 days unpaid carers leave & 2 days compassionate leave

Superannuation may be payable – for more information check out this blog

Can access unpaid community service leave, family & domestic violence leave & public holidays

Are treated in the same way as an employee expect they have a fixed start and finish date

Can end employment without notice and have their employment ended without notice

End date in the contract agreement may be extended or may end on that date / completion of the work

Are paid a casual loading on top of their hourly rate


Superannuation is payable on earnings over $450 per month


Casuals who work regularly for 6 months may request or require an offer of transition to permanent employment


More News? Sign Up for our e-Newsletter?

Join us

Be part of the Impact HR Insights Community

Want to know what's happening in the world of HR? Join our Insights Community and get the latest HR news and best practice updates from the Impact HR team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!