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Frequently Asked Questions about Casual Employment at Western Sydney University
Who is a casual staff member?
Casual employees are staff engaged by the hour and paid on an hourly basis. Casual employees work an irregular or regular pattern of hours. The current Academic Staff Agreement and the Professional Staff Agreement outline aspects of casual employment. These Agreements can be found on the Enterprise Agreements page.
Schedule 2 of the Academic Staff Agreement provides information on the types of work and duties required of a casual academic and how the rates of pay are applied.
As a casual employee, will I receive a written contract of employment?
Yes. Any form of employment at the University must always include an offer of employment requiring an acceptance. For casual staff this is the Casual Employment Authority which contacts the following information:
- The duration of the contract
- The hours estimated to be worked
- The rate of pay per hour per activity required to be worked
- The duties required
Should you choose to accept an offer of employment, sign and date the Casual Employment Authority and return to your supervisor or the staff member listed as 'Delegated Officer' on the bottom of the contract.
Should the work be completed prior to the expected completion date or with less than the estimated hours being expended, the University has the right to terminate the Casual Employment Authority subject to giving notice as define in the Authority.
What information do I need to provide?
Evidence of status to legally work in Australia
Western Sydney University is required by Australian law to verify your status to legally work in Australia. You will be asked to provide the original of your birth certificate, Australian passport or (if you do not hold an Australian passport) a current Visa stipulating authority to work in Australia. Your supervisor will take a copy of this documentation and immediately return the original to you.
Resume or Curriculum Vitae
Some areas will require you to submit your resume for their records. Your resume should include your work history, contact information i.e., home phone, mobile, address, etc and a copy of any qualifications you have.
Personal and Banking Details
You will need to provide your personal details (address etc) and banking details before a Casual Employment Authority can be prepared. It is your responsibility to ensure that the University has your correct personal and banking details. These details can be updated at any time by completing a Banking Details form available from the Forms, Templates and Guidelines page.
Emergency Contact Details
You will need to provide at least one Emergency Contact. These can be added/changed by downloading the form from the OForms, Templates and Guidelines page or you can also change/add these details through Staff Online.
Tax File Number (TFN) Declaration
When undertaking employment with the University, staff may lodge an Australian Taxation Office TFN Declaration to assist the University to determine the correct rate of tax applicable. A TFN declaration form may be provided to you with your contract. If you choose not to provide this form, the University is required to tax you at the highest tax rate applicable. Staff may lodge a TFN Declaration with different employers, however you are not able to claim the general exemption more than once. Casual staff should refer to the detailed information included on the form for more information. Lodgement of this form with an employer is the responsibility of the employee.
All University employees may choose to submit a Withholding Declaration Form to alter the amount of tax withheld from payments made to them. If you have chosen not to submit a TFN Declaration form you cannot submit a Withholding Declaration Form.
A withholding declaration form is used:
- To advise a change in Australian Residency status
- To claim or discontinue the tax free threshold
- To advise a HECS debt or to cease a HECS debt, or FS Debt
- To claim or vary a rebate or the family tax benefit
Prior to completing the form you should read the Withholding Declaration booklet. The Withholding Declaration Form should be sent to Payroll Services in the Office of Human Resources before the first pay date of a contract to ensure the correct tax is deducted.
Providing accurate taxation details (including the lodgement of the TFN Declaration and Withholding Declaration forms) remains the responsibility of individual staff. For more information please contact the ATO on 132861 or at their web site www.ato.gov.au.
How and when do I get paid?
Casual employees are paid through the University's payroll system. You will be paid via electronic funds transfer to your nominated bank or other financial institution. It is important that your current bank account details are provided to Payroll Services who will ensure this information is updated in the payroll system, to ensure correct deposit of your salary payment. These details are provided using the Casual Banking Details form available from the OPC Forms, Templates and Guidelines page.
University employees are paid fortnightly on Thursdays. A schedule of the pay periods for the current calendar year is available from the Human Resources website.
You will note that this calendar also provides the date you must lodge claims for payment with the Payroll Services.
Casual staff will be paid on the submission of an online or paper timesheet.
You will be required to enter online or submit paper timesheets if you have been employed by a "Casual Employment Authority". Timesheets are used to record the hours worked for a fortnight (or less) and submitted for approval to your Supervisor (or another authorising officer), in accordance with the Western Sydney University Payroll Deadline Dates. The paper timesheet form and other payroll information is available on the Hiring casual employees - FAQs for managers and supervisors page.
How do I claim for the hours I work?
You will be required to claim the hours worked by completing an online or paper timesheet. Timesheets must be completed detailing the dates and hours worked and forwarded to your supervisor for authorisation. It is your responsibility to ensure your claim is authorised and reaches Payroll Services by the advised cut off dates.
Do I get a payslip?
Yes, your payslip is in electronic format and can be downloaded via your Staff Online account when a salary payment is due to you.
What pay rate applies to me?
All casual pay rates include a loading to compensate for the unavailability of leave (such as sick leave, annual leave, Long Service Leave) and payment for public holidays. This loading is set at 25% for Professional Staff. The rates applied to academic tutoring and lecturing staff are calculated 'for the job', acknowledging that the job comprises noncontact as well as contact work. Then, in addition to actual presentation of tutorials or lectures, the rate of pay also covers such items as preparation of material, student consultation and marking. [ See Schedule 2 of the Agreement ]
Your contract of employment should clearly state the rate applicable for the term of engagement. If you are unclear about your rate of pay, please contact your supervisor. Information on rates of pay can be found on the Your Pay page.
What tax do I pay on my salary payments?
The University's payroll system taxes employees according to guidelines set by the Australian Taxation Office. The amount of tax you pay will depend on the details supplied by you on the Tax File Number Declaration Form. You are taxed on what you earn for the days worked regardless of when you claim and receive payment.
It is common for casual hours claimed to relate to previous pay periods. This means that your tax could vary from one pay to another. The variance depends on whether a previous claim for days worked in the same pay period has already been processed and paid, and whether you submit your claims regularly or irregularly. Submitting irregularly could result in a higher rate of tax being deducted.
Will I be paid for Public Holidays?
Not unless you work on the Public Holiday, as casual employees are only paid for actual hours worked.
Am I entitled to leave during my employment
Casual employment does not provide entitlement to any type of paid leave for absences from work through sickness or any other reason. No payment is made for any period of non attendance.
Can my casual employment be converted to ongoing or fixed term employment?
Casual Professional staff employees are able to apply for "conversion" of their employment status provided that certain conditions can be satisfied. Casual Professional Staff will become eligible to apply to have their employment converted to ongoing employment or fixed-term employment, if they have been employed by the University on a regular and systematic basis in the same or a substantially the same position in the same organisational unit either
- over the immediately preceding 12 months during which their average weekly hours worked equalled at least 50% of the ordinary weekly hours of an equivalent employee engaged full time or
- over the immediately preceding 24 months.
Full details about conversion can be found in the General Staff Agreement, on the Enterprise Agreements page.
The Application for Conversion from Casual Employment form is available by contacting your Partnership team.
The "conversion" option is not available to casual academic staff employees
What about superannuation?
Should your casual employment satisfy certain criteria under the Superannuation Guarantee Legislation the University will make contributions for you to UniSuper. It is important that you provide your date of birth and TFN to assist with superannuation eligibility.
The Superannuation Guarantee Legislation states:
If you are over 18, and are paid more than $450 in any month and your employer provides no other superannuation support, your employer must contribute 9.5% of your salary to meet Superannuation Guarantee requirements.
For more information please contact the Superannuation Officer, Pauline Pickham, on 9678 7534 (ext 7534 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information is available from the UniSuper web site.(opens in a new window)
The Federal Government's Choice of Fund Legislation does not apply to employees of the Western Sydney University as their employment is governed by Collective Agreements which nominate UniSuper as the fund to receive employer superannuation contributions.
What if I cannot complete my contract of employment?
Casual employment may be terminated by either party, by giving notice equivalent to one hour. If you are unable to complete your contract, or are absent due to illness etc, you must advise your supervisor.
What happens if my contract is going to be renewed?
Casual employees are engaged with no guarantee or expectation of work during or beyond the period of their current employment. The dates indicated on the Casual Employment Authority are to be used as a guide only.
If your contract is going to be renewed, your work area needs to ensure that any renewal or variation to your contract is forwarded to Payroll Services by the specified deadlines.
What happens if my contract is finished?
You are required to return any University owned equipment and software as well as keys, key cards, staff library cards and books prior to your last day of duty.
How will I receive my Payment Summary (formally called Group Certificate)?
Payment Summaries are forwarded from Payroll Services to the employee's postal address in early July. Please ensure that you advise the University of any change of address by end May, by annotating the change on your claim form.
How do I access other services provided to staff by the University?
Casual employees are able to access other services such as computer and email accounts and library access. Please contact your supervisor for further information.