Hiring Casual employees - FAQs for managers and supervisors


What is Casual Employment

A casual employee is a person engaged by the hour and paid on an hourly basis.

Casual employees should only be employed for short-term, ad hoc or irregular periods of time, usually less than full-time in any week. Each period of casual employment is a distinct period of employment, with no guarantee, expectation or entitlement of work beyond the current period of employment.

How do I arrange for the employment of a casual employee?

First, you must complete a Casual Employment Authority (CEA) Form (PDF, 102.77 KB) .(opens in a new window)

Next, obtain approval from the relevant delegated officer, specified in the Delegations Policy (opens in a new window).

Casual employees are paid via the payroll. The completed CEA Form should be sent to Payroll Services in HR Client Services.

How is the hourly rate calculated for casual employees?

This depends on whether the employee is academic or general.

Academic Staff

There are different rates for different types of casual academic work. Details of the types of work are in the University of Western Sydney Academic Staff Agreement 2014 - 2017 (PDF, 1334.55 KB).(opens in a new window)

The hourly rates currently being paid are listed in Casual Academic Pay Rates (XLS, 1078 KB).(opens in a new window)

Professional Staff

The rate paid is the ordinary hourly equivalent of the applicable rate prescribed for the classification for the HEW level plus a loading of 25% as compensation for the casual hiring and in lieu of all statutory and leave entitlements. More details are available in the  University of Western Sydney Professional Staff Agreement 2014 -2017 (PDF, 1384.84 KB).(opens in a new window)

The rates that are currently being paid are listed in Professional Staff Salary Rates (PDF, 25.45 KB). (opens in a new window)

How are casuals paid?

Individual casual employees are paid via the payroll either electronically, or paper based.

Timesheets need to be submitted and approved within two weeks of completing the work.

The University has obligations under Income Tax legislation to ensure that it does not facilitate the avoidance of tax by it's employees. The University's payroll system facilitates the automatic deduction of income tax at source as required under the PAYE provisions of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.

What happens if a casual employee requests payment through a private company?

This is only permissible where the University employs a company, partnership or trust, not an individual. The University MAY legally make payments to the contractor via Accounts Payable in the Finance Office.

In order to qualify as a contractor and hence be paid via Accounts Payable, the organisation MUST, as a minimum, satisfy at least seven of the Australian Taxation Office's Criteria for Independent Contractor Status.

In addition to meeting a majority of the 12 tests, the contractor MUST satisfy, in particular, test 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and, most importantly, 8. If they fail to meet any of these individual criteria, the University must deem them to be an employee rather than a contractor.

Can casual employment be converted to ongoing or fixed-term employment?

Yes, under certain circumstances an employee can apply for 'conversion'.

The UWS General Staff Agreement contains the provision that a casual employee 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 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 UWS Professional Staff Agreement 2014 -2017 (PDF, 1384.84 KB) .(opens in a new window)

When should the payment arrangements be made?

If there is a request that the University should employ a contractor rather than an individual person (i.e., where payment does not go through the payroll), it is essential that tests are applied BEFORE the confirmation of the engagement.

It is the responsibility of the School/Divisional area to assess the status of the organisation and to obtain copies of the insurance policy before a contract is issued.

Evidence of the meeting of the criteria and copies of insurance policies should accompany invoices submitted to Accounts Payable.

Where do I obtain further information?

For more information, please contact us on our Helpline on extension 7575 (02 9678 7575) or via email humanresources@westernsydney.edu.au.