Christmas Casual

  • Just thought I'd take the opportunity to explain what's up with me and make a thread to discuss work in general, casual and temporary contracts, etc.
    So basically a friend and ex-housemate is Second in Command on a small department store and offered me a Christmas Casual position a few weeks after I returned to Australia from Mexico. So I have a job now but it will be only until the start of the next year.

    As a Christmas casual in retail, the hours have been increasing and have been changing a bit to suit the store needs, which means a pretty decent amount. So that's in part why I haven't been around as much. I arrive home just in time to cook dinner and do the dishes after and by then it gets to be close to bed time. In the mornings usually I get up straight to get ready, iron my uniform if needed and run to catch the bus, haha.

    Have you guys ever been employed as a Christmas casual?

    I just wonder how will they mark the end, is it going to be they simply will stop rostering me and letting me fall off the system, or will they give me a definite date for my last shift. I have no idea. First time being a temporary casual.

  • I posted that one the 17th, now four days later I can confirm... Just kidding, it's been over a year now.

    Turned out the place didn't kick me out and ended up staying a casual. Haha.

    So on the 23rd. I'm staying until midnight. That's gonna be fun. According to my coworker last year the mall forgot and turned off the lights for half an hour. So there were no customers. We'll see how we go this time, haha. :lol:

  • I'm not familiar with the term "casual" in this context. I presume it's like a seasonal worker? Someone employed during a busy period, with the expectation that they'll be let go at the end?

    I've never done that work myself, though I did work at a grocery store during a few major food holidays.

  • I'm not familiar with the term "casual" in this context. I presume it's like a seasonal worker? Someone employed during a busy period, with the expectation that they'll be let go at the end?

    Maybe is a different name. Here you have full time, part time and casual. From the bunch, casuals don't have a set amount of hours per week. I think the minimum is getting 3 hours every two weeks. And they can fire you on the spot, you don't have some insurance benefits but if they need you weekends and late nights, usually you get paid higher.

    So when they say a season + casual, yeah, then the implication is that you're being hired temporarily to cover for a few weeks/months and they'll stop calling you once it's over.

    It was the first job I got as a season casual, because I usually skip them. I am after some stability, but this one was a sure shot and I needed the income. I'm glad I did.

  • I don't think we have "casual" as a job class in the U.S., at least not in such a formalized context.

    It sounds awful to hear you describe it, though I'm glad it has worked for you.

    Thanks. It does have its perks and I am not being good to describe them. It's like a double-edged sword. Casual lets you be flexible if you have other obligations like studying or a different job. You can be paid as much as 3 times your hourly wage for working atypical hours such as night shifts and public holidays. Just like they can fire me on the spot. I can also quit on the spot!

    Here, the Australia Government will tell you how cool this form of employment is:

    A casual employee does not have a firm commitment in advance from an employer about how long they will be employed for, or the days (or hours) they will work. A casual employee also does not commit to all work an employer might offer.

    For example, an employee who works to a roster that could change each week and can refuse or swap shifts is casual.

    A casual employee:

    • has no guaranteed hours of work
    • usually works irregular hours
    • doesn't get paid sick or annual leave
    • can end employment without notice, unless notice is required by a registered agreement, award or employment contract.

    Doesn't it sound amazing? :lol:

    ... but still, as cool as working without getting paid for sick days and the thrill in the knowledge that the company can let me go at any time, for some peculiar reason, I would prefer to have a contract.

    I am just very lucky that my current bosses are understanding and the place I work to generate enough hours so it works in my favour. I saved a lot that I could and I could still spend for the Xmas holidays and a few birthdays. If I am really honest, compared to Hospitality, working in retail here has been really good. As much as sometimes customers can wear me down with some rude attitudes, for the most part, it is an easy job.

  • It sounds like a form of employment that would be nice if we lived in a world where employers weren't constantly trying to find new ways to wring every last penny they can get out of their employees. As it stands, it mostly sounds like a different way of getting jerked around. :P

    When the boss you're directly responsible to is nice and likable enough though, that's always a huge relief. I'm glad for that. :)

  • Yeah, _LS_. I am very lucky in that regard. I definitely don't want to take for granted where I am right now.

    I agree that for the most part this position is about squeezing the most without repercussions. It is my impression that this position is designed to allow companies hiring people without having to be accountable for insurance, paying sick days or firing in the spot. Having the cake and eating them.

    I dunno if US is the same but since Jr. and seniors get lower wages. A lot of jobs love to hire teenage casuals, so it is cheaper for the same job.

  • Wow, are seniors legally entitled to less pay in Australia?

    That's what I thought till now.

    Ugh... I tried backing up what I was saying from fairwork and I didn't find them openly saying that about seniors, just teenagers, so now I'm not sure. It could be it was fazed out or I misunderstood.

    So maybe is just the juniors, and seniors just have working limitations that makes them earn less overall and I misunderstood they were in the same boat.

    Coming from Mexico it makes no sense to me. One thing is paying less for simpler jobs and having old people be the ones that tend to go for those positions, but I was raised by the idea of "equal pay for equal job", as in that if you can perform the job, you deserved the same pay no matter your age, gender, etc.

    Of course, as far as I understand government says it was set in place to give an incentive to companies to hire teenagers and that way create more opportunities for them.

  • I was just moved to a Management position where I am at, with no employees under me. They salaried me so I no longer make any overtime. Last year I made more than I will this year when I was an hourly employee.

    The only positive about being salary is my paycheck will be the same every pay period regardless if I am on vacation or not.