August 2021

On 4 August 2021, the High Court unanimously allowed an appeal from a judgment of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia. The appeal concerned the nature of casual employment. THE FACTS Mr Rossato was employed as a production worker by the labour-hire company WorkPac under a series of six contracts, or "assignments", to perform work for one of WorkPac's clients. At all relevant times, WorkPac treated Mr Rossato as a casual employee, such that Mr Rossato was not paid the leave and public holiday entitlements owed by employers to non-casual employees pursuant to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) ("the Act") and the enterprise agreement which governed his employment. THE LITIGATION On 16 August 2018, a judgment was delivered in the Federal Court. Inthat decision, it was found that Mr Skene, who had been employed by WorkPac in circumstancessimilar to those of Mr Rossato, was not a casual employee. In reliance on that decision, Mr Rossatoclaimed that he was likewise not a casual employee, and was therefore entitled to be paid for untaken annual leave, public holidays, and periods of personal leave and compassionate leave taken during his employment. The Full Federal Court also concluded that Mr Rossato was not a...

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