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Home > News > 2019 > June > New casual conversion clause aims to address insecurity in the sector

New casual conversion clause aims to address insecurity in the sector

Topics : AgreementsAwardsELICOSVET

Casual_Conversion_Clause_Image.pngA new clause in the Educational Services (Post-Secondary Education) Award 2010 is a positive step forward for VET and ELICOS employees fighting the scourge of insecure work. 

The Educational Services (Post-Secondary Education) Award 2010 covers employees working in the Vocational Education Training (VET) and English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) sectors.

The “right to request casual conversion” clause was inserted into the Award earlier this year by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) and aims to reduce the increasingly high level of job insecurity and casualisation amongst VET practitioners and ELICOS teachers. 

The clause gives employees the right to request their employment be converted to part-time or full-time employment after 12 months of consistent casual or sessional employment, and can only be rejected by an employer on reasonable grounds. 

The VET and ELICOS sectors are plagued with uncertainty, with the capacity of many practitioners and teachers being able to deliver quality education limited by their insecure employment conditions.   

Our union is advocating for a stronger VET and ELICOS sector. 

One where practitioners are valued for their skillset and knowledge and shown genuine professional respect by their employers through secure employment opportunities and access to the working conditions the majority of other teaching professionals receive. 

  • Insertion of the casual conversion clause by the Fair Work Commission means casual and sessional employees can request to be converted to part-time or full time employment
  • This request cannot be rejected by the employer unless on reasonable grounds
  • The clause will provide security to VET and ELICOS practitioners in an uncertain environment

IEUA-QNT Growth Organiser Cherie Wills said the first step to professional recognition of VET practitioners and ELICOS teachers is through secure employment, something the new “right to request casual conversion” clause provides. 

“A vast majority of practitioners are receiving the bare minimum when it comes to their working rights and conditions,” said Ms Wills.

“This is due especially due to the high rate of casualisation which is preventing their right to access professional development, release time and other essential conditions that allow them to ensure their knowledge stays pertinent to the area they are teaching.

“This new clause in the Awards means those working in these sectors will have the right to apply for more permanent employment.

“Employers can only reject the request on reasonable grounds, such as if the employee’s position will no longer exist within 12 months or if the employee’s hours will need to dramatically vary if the request is accepted, and this rejection needs to be provided in writing and can be disputed by the employee.” 

Employers will be required to provide all casual and sessional employees with a copy of the new clause within their first 12 months of employment, as well as provide copies to all current, causal employees regardless of the length of time they have been employed.  

The insertion of the new clause does not obligate casual and sessional employees to covert to part-time or full-time employment, and this clause does not permit employers to require casual and sessional employees to convert if they do not wish to do so. 

Our union encourages members to get in touch with our Industrial Team via FREECALL 1800 177 938 or email to industrial@qieu.asn.au, if they wish to discuss how this new clause may affect them, or to access advice in regards to submitting their application for casual conversion.  

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.