A 5-minute guide to the different employment types in Australia

As a business owner, understanding employment law is crucial in making sure you stay within the rules when dealing with employees. Not doing so may lead to unfavorable situations and potential lawsuits if things really go wrong so it’s best to equip yourself with the necessary knowledge.

In Australia, there are several employment types to take note of. These include:

  • Full-time

  • Part-time

  • Casual

  • Daily hire

Why is it important to understand the employment types?

In today’s business landscape, your workforce requires more than just one type of employee to get things done. 

Full-time employees are still important but you may find yourself bringing in more freelancers or contractors. This is a trend happening across all industries due to rising costs and reduced opportunities for full-time work as part-time employees are more flexible to work with budget-wise.

Knowing the obligations and entitlements for each employment type builds a smooth working relationship between you and the employee. Not only do you protect yourself from legal concerns, you also give employees benefits they deserve which they may not even be aware of prior to signing the contracts.

What should you include in employee contracts?

All contracts are unique but the elements included in it remain the same regardless of the industry you operate in. A good contract clearly establishes your employee’s working hours, payment details, entitlements, and other important information relevant to their work.

We’ve included a list of details for you to check if your contracts meet the recommended requirements:

  • Name and personal details of the employer and employee

  • Starting date (ending dates may be included if applicable) of employment

  • Job title and description

  • Tasks and duties assigned to the employee

  • Number of hours worked in a week and shift details

  • Type of employment

  • Remuneration details

  • The period in issuing termination notices or contract extensions

  • Confidentiality agreement

  • Dispute clause for contract issues

  • Agreements to handle potential changes in the employee’s role or tasks in the future due to things like relocation or changes in the business

Below are the required details and entitlements of the main employment types to help you in creating better contracts.

Full-time employees

Full-time workers receive payment through wages or salaries. They work standard hours or in full-time shifts throughout the week e.g. 10 to 6pm every Monday to Saturday. They may work in the office, from home, or a mixture of both. Taxes are taken out from salaries and managed by the employer.

What are their entitlements?

  • Annual, parental, and personal leave

  • Public holidays

  • Long service leave

  • Superannuation guarantee

  • Period of notice if the employment is terminated

Part-time employees

Part-timers work less than 38 hours a week but still maintain regular hours every week. They are considered permanent employees as they have consistent work.

What are their entitlements?

They receive benefits similar to full-time employees but on a pro rata basis to compensate for lesser working hours.

Casual employees

Unlike part-time employees, casual workers are not guaranteed ongoing work nor do they have consistent work hours. They work on-demand and do not have to be notified in advance for terminations

What are their entitlements?

  • A casual loading which means they are paid more compared to full-time or part-time employees as they do not have benefits like sick or annual leave.

  • 2 days unpaid carer's leave and 2 days unpaid compassionate leave

  • 5 days unpaid family and domestic violence leave in a year

  • Superannuation guarantee

  • One day off during public holidays unless the employee agrees to work

  • 38 hours per week of work at most

Casual workers who work for more than a year with businesses are granted flexible working hours and parental leave since they are considered as long term employees.

Fixed-term or temporary employees

This employment type usually works on a fixed-term contract or temporary basis e.g. hiring freelancers to temporarily replace an employee on leave. Agency workers are also considered temporary workers.

What are their entitlements?

Temporary workers receive the same entitlements as full-time employees.

Daily hire employees

Daily hire workers are common in the trades. Employers must outline the tasks daily hires are responsible for to avoid problems in the work they’re supposed to do.

What are their entitlements?

  • 1-day notice to terminate the employment

  • Tradesperson and labourers are allowed 1 hour before termination to collect and manage their working tools

  • A follow the job loading to compensate for the time spent not working between jobs

Knowing the different employment types helps you immensely in managing your employees better.


Get in touch with us today to find how we can help you create better contracts for you and your employees.