13. Employment Categories

13.1 Employees will be engaged as either continuing, fixed term, or casual. It is the University’s preference to engage employees on a continuing basis however in order to meet workforce planning and operational requirements, the University will engage employees on a fixed term or casual basis.

The University offers a range of flexible employment modes, including, but not limited to:

  • Full-time;
  • Fractional;
  • Sessional (Residential Colleges, Printery);
  • Term Employees (Professional Employees);
  • Annualised Hours Employment.

13.2 Continuing Employment

Continuing employment is employment entered into for an indefinite period subject to the termination, change and redundancy provisions of this Agreement.

13.3 Fixed Term Employment

13.3.1 Fixed term employment is employment for a specified term or ascertainable period subject to the termination, change and redundancy provisions of this Agreement.

13.3.2 An essential feature of fixed term employment is that there is no expectation of continuity of employment, unless stated otherwise, in writing, by the Executive Director, or except where stated elsewhere in this Agreement. The University will advise an employee engaged on a fixed term appointment of the specific start and finish date of the appointment (or in lieu of a finish date, the specific circumstance(s) or contingency relating to a specific task or project, for which the fixed term appointment will expire).

13.3.3 The use of fixed term employment is limited to the employment of an employee engaged on work activity that comes within the description of one or more of the following circumstances:

13.3.3.1 Specific Task or Project

A specific task or project is a definable work activity with a start date and which is expected to be completed within an anticipated timeframe. Without limiting the generality of that circumstance, a specific task or project may include a period of employment provided for from identifiable funding external to the employer, not being funding that is part of an operating grant from government or funding comprised of payments of fees made by, or on behalf of, students.

13.3.3.2 Research

Research means work activity by an employee engaged on primarily research functions for a contract period not exceeding five (5) years.

13.3.3.3 Replacement Employee

A Replacement Employee is one who is:

  • undertaking work activity replacing a full-time or fractional employee for a definable period for which the latter is either on authorised leave of absence or is temporarily seconded away from their usual work area; or
  • performing the duties of:
    • a vacant position for which the University has made a definite decision to fill and has commenced recruitment action; or
    • a position the normal occupant of which is performing higher duties pending the outcome of recruitment action initiated by the University, until a full-time or fractional employee is engaged for the vacant position or vacant higher duties position as applicable.

    Upon the notification of the return of the incumbent employee due to unforeseen circumstances, including the early return of an employee absent on parental leave, replacement employees may be terminated with the provision of four (4) week’s notice.

    13.3.3.4 Recent Professional Practice Required

    Where a curriculum in professional or vocational education requires that work be undertaken by a person to be engaged who has recent practical or commercial experience, such a person may be engaged on a fixed term appointment. Practical or commercial practice will be considered as “recent” only when it has occurred in the previous two (2) years.

    13.3.3.5 Pre-Retirement Contract

    Where a full-time or a fractional employee declares an intention to retire, the employee may seek to enter into a fixed term appointment for a period of up to five (5) years.

    13.3.3.6 Studentship

    A fixed term appointment may be adopted as the appropriate type of employment where a person is enrolled as a student provided that:

    • the work is normally within the student’s academic unit or an associated research unit of that academic unit; and
    • the work activity is generally related to the degree program that the student is undertaking within the academic unit.

    Such employment:

    • is for a period that does not extend beyond, or that expires at the end of, the academic year in which the person ceases to be a student, including any period that the person is not enrolled as a student but is still completing postgraduate work or is awaiting results; and
    • will not be offered or made on the condition that the person offered the employment undertake the studentship.

    13.3.3.7 Employment in a New Area of Activity

    A fixed term appointment may be offered where the University introduces a new area of activity which requires additional position(s) and there is a demonstrable special case that resources for the position cannot be guaranteed beyond the specified term of employment. Any use of fixed term employment under this clause will be for a maximum period of three (3) years and will be regularly reported to the Staff Consultative Committee.

    13.3.3.8 Disestablishment of an Area

    Where an organisational work area consisting of at least three (3) employees (or in consultation with the relevant union(s) through the Staff Consultative Committee, fewer employees) has been the subject of a decision by the University to discontinue that work, fixed term employment may be offered in that area for a maximum period of three (3) years.

    13.3.3.9 Apprenticeship or Traineeship

    An apprentice or trainee employed pursuant to an apprenticeship or traineeship approved by the relevant State or Territory training authority.

    13.3.4 Where a further fixed term appointment is required, the incumbent may be offered the appointment provided that their performance during the previous appointment has been assessed as satisfactory.

    13.3.5 Where a fixed term position is converted to a continuing position, the incumbent may be offered appointment on a continuing basis provided that:

    •  the employee was initially appointed to the University through a competitive selection process; and
    • the employee has performed satisfactorily in the position.

    13.3.6 An employee engaged on a fulltime or fractional fixed term basis will receive the entitlements of a full-time or fractional continuing employee except where stated otherwise in this Agreement or by the relevant superannuation trust deeds. The entitlements accrued during the term of fixed term employment will be paid out prior to, or on expiry of, the term.

    13.3.7 Severance Pay

    13.3.7.1 A fixed term employee with over twelve months’ continuous service, whose contract of employment is not renewed in circumstances where the employee seeks to continue the employment, is entitled to the following severance payment provided that:

    (a) the employee seeks to continue the employment; and

    (b) (i) in the case of an employee on a second or subsequent fixed term appointment for a specific task or project or research, and the same or substantially similar duties are no longer required by the University; or

    (ii) in the case of an employee employed on a fixed term appointment for a specific task or project or research, and the duties of the kind performed during the contract continue to be required but another person has been appointed or is to be appointed to the same or substantially similar duties.

     Period of Continuous Service

     Weeks Pay

     Less than and up to 1 year  Nil
     More than 1 year and up to 2 years  4 weeks pay
     More than 2 years and up to 3 years  6 weeks pay
     More than 3 years and up to 4 years  7 weeks pay
     More than 4 years  8 weeks pay

    13.3.7.2 The University may defer a severance payment for up to six (6) weeks after the expiry of the period of the fixed term appointment where the employee is advised in writing that a further appointment may be offered and commenced within six (6) weeks of the expiry of the fixed term appointment. Casual employment within this six (6) week period does not affect the entitlement for severance payment.

    13.3.8 Continuous Service

    Breaks between fixed term appointments of up to two (2) times per year and of up to six (6) weeks will not constitute breaks in continuous service. Periods of approved unpaid leave will not count for service, but will not constitute breaks in service for the purpose of this clause.

    13.4 Casual Employment (Professional Employees)

    13.4.1 A casual employee will mean a person engaged by the hour and paid on an hourly basis that includes a 23% loading related to benefits for which a casual employee is not eligible. The casual loading will increase to 24% in June 2010 and to 25% in December 2011.

    13.4.2 The minimum period of engagement for a casual professional employee (other than those students employed in a Peer Assisted Learning Program and employees within the Residential Colleges which is two (2) hours) is three (3) hours. In order to meet personal circumstances, a casual employee may request a minimum engagement of less than three (3) hours where this is suitable for both the employee and the University.

    13.4.3 An essential feature of casual employment is that there is no expectation of continuity of employment, unless stated otherwise, in writing, by the Executive Director.

    13.4.4 The hours worked by a casual employee are ad hoc, intermittent and may vary from week to week, and month to month, with possible periods of no employment.

    13.4.5 A casual employee or the University may give one (1) hour’s notice to terminate the engagement.

    13.4.6 Conversion

    13.4.6.1 Upon appointment, the University will advise a casual employee that, after serving qualifying periods as provided below, casual employees may have the right to apply in writing for conversion to non-casual employment. An employee must not be engaged and re-engaged, nor have hours reduced, in order to avoid any obligations under this Conversion sub-clause.

    13.4.6.2 A casual employee will be eligible to apply for conversion, if they have been employed on a regular or systematic basis in the same or a similar and identically classified position in the same work area for a period of 12 months and worked at least 50% of the full time equivalent hours; or if they have worked over the immediately preceding period of at least 24 months.

    13.4.6.3 The University may refuse an application for conversion on reasonable grounds which include, but are not limited to:

    (a) the employee is a student, or has recently been a student, other than where their status as a student is irrelevant to their engagement and the work required;

    (b) the employee is a genuine retiree;

    (c) the employee is performing work which will cease to be required or will be performed by a non-casual employee, within 26 weeks (from the date of application);

    (d) the employee has a primary occupation within the University or elsewhere;

    (e) the employee does not meet the essential requirements of the position; or

    (f) the work is ad hoc, intermittent, unpredictable or involves hours that are irregular.

    13.4.6.4 Applications for conversion will be dealt with in accordance with the conversion procedures set out in Human Resources Policies and Procedures, and these procedures will not be changed without consultation with employees or the Unions through the Staff Consultative Committee.

    13.4.6.5 Any dispute arising out of the application of this Conversion clause will be dealt with in accordance with the dispute procedures set out in Clause 36 of this Agreement.

    13.5 Casual Employment (Academic Employees)

    13.5.1 An academic employee will mean a person engaged by the hour and paid on an hourly basis that includes a 23% loading related to benefits for which a casual employee is not eligible. The casual loading will increase to 24% in June 2010 and to 25% in December 2011. The casual academic rates are as set out in Schedule B.

    13.5.2 An essential feature of casual academic employment is that there is no expectation of continuity of employment, unless stated otherwise, in writing, by the Executive Director.

    13.5.3 The hours worked by a casual academic employee may vary from week to week, and month to month, with possible periods of no employment.

    13.5.4 The circumstances in which academic casual employment will normally be used includes: work of an irregular or intermittent nature; supervision of practical teaching; covering short-term absences; provision of employment opportunities to post-graduate students; or provision of industry or professional experience to teaching programs.

    13.6 Concurrent Appointments

    13.6.1 A continuing and fixed term employee may also be employed on a casual basis where such casual employment has duties distinct from their substantive position and is not being used as an alternative to any of the following:

    • making additional continuing or fractional fixed term appointments;
    • paying overtime to existing employees;
    • extending the working hours of fractional employees.

    13.6.2 An additional appointment must not constitute more than an employee’s full time equivalent role when combined with the employee’s substantive position.