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Knowing your employment status is important because it can affect what you are paid. You may be employed on a permanent, temporary or a casual basis. You may be employed full-time or part-time. Alternatively, you may have been hired as an independent contractor.
The type of employee that you are will usually be set out in your award, enterprise agreement or contract of employment.
If you have any questions about what type of employee you are or if you are an independent contractor, you can contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or go to the
Fair Work Ombudsman website.
There may be other instruments that affect what type of employee you are, made under legislation before the Fair Work Act 2009 commenced. If you think a different instrument covers you, or you are not sure what type of employee you are, you should contact the
Fair Work Ombudsman or get legal advice.
Whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor depends on a number of things. If your contract says you are a contractor, this doesn't necessarily mean that you are.
Someone who is an independent contractor might:
Someone who is an employee might:
It is important to know whether you are an employee or an independent contractor because independent contractors do not get the same entitlements that employees do.
If you are not sure whether you are an employee or an independent contractor, you should contact the
Fair Work Ombudsman or get legal advice .
Australian Tax Office (ATO) website has an
Employee/contractor decision tool to help you decide if you are an employee or contractor.
Permanent employees usually work the same set of hours each week and their employment is ongoing, meaning there is no specified end date.
Permanent employees are generally entitled to:
Temporary employees can be employed full-time or part-time, but will usually have a specific date that their employment contract ends. Temporary employees will normally have the same entitlements to permanent employees, but may not be entitled to notice when they are dismissed, unless their award, enterprise agreement or employment contract says so.
Sometimes temporary employees are employed longer than the time specified in their contract. If you are a temporary employee in this situation and have been dismissed or think you are not being paid what you are entitled to, you should get
The amount of hours a full-time employee works will usually be in their:
but the maximum they can be asked to work is 38 hours per week, unless the request to work additional hours is reasonable. What is considered reasonable will depend on the circumstances.
If you are being asked to work additional hours, and you do not think it is reasonable, you should contact the
Fair Work Ombudsman or get
Part-time employees work less than a full five-day week, but they usually work the same set of hours each week.
They have the same entitlements as full-time employees, but on a 'pro rata basis'. This means their entitlements are calculated according to the number of hours that they work.
Casual employees generally have no normal or fixed hours of work or any guarantee of continuing employment. They usually work on an 'as needs' basis.
There are other entitlements under the NES that apply to casual employees.
Not all employees who are described as casual employees by their employer are actually casual. If you work regular hours and shifts you may not be casual. If you have been dismissed or think you are not being paid what you are entitled to, you should contact the
Fair Work Ombudsman or get
For more information, see Casual employees on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
Under recent changes to the Fair Work Act, small business employers need to give their existing casual employees (employed before 27 March 2021) a copy of the Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS) as soon as possible after 27 March 2021.
All other employers have to give their existing casual employees (employed before 27 March 2021) a copy of the CEIS as soon as possible after 27 September 2021.
For more information about casual employees, see the Casual Employment Information Statement on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.