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Human Resources

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 Contingent funded employment

13.3.1 Contingent funded employment is not continuing employment as defined by Clause 13.2.

13.3.2 Contingent funded employment represents a form of employment status available to employees whose employment is funded by Contingent Funding.

13.3.3 A person who would otherwise be appointed to a fixed-term position, in accordance with Clause 13.4 may, at the discretion of the University, be directly appointed to a contingent funded position where the available funding is Contingent Funding.

13.3.4 An existing fixed-term employee appointed to a position funded by Contingent Funding for a period of twelve (12) months or more may be employed on a contingent funded contract of employment in accordance with this provision. The contract of employment will specify the contingency upon the occurrence of which the term of the employment will expire.

13.3.5 An appointment may be made, at the discretion of the Delegate, to contingent funded employment using internal funds where:

  • the use of internal funding is for a limited period; and
  • the area has a reasonable expectation that alternative contingent funding or a continuing appointment will become available; and
  • the alternative would be the separation of the employee from their position with the University.

13.3.6 The University may continue to fund employment for a limited and defined period up to three (3) months where current funding has ceased and further funding is actively being sought.

13.3.7 Where funding for the contingent funded position ceases, the following provisions do not apply to employees on contingent funded employment:

  • The consultation provisions of Clause 28 Introduction of Organisational Change;
  • Redundancy provisions outlined in Clause 30 Redundancy; and
  • Conditions applying to employees employed on fixed-term contracts as outlined under Clause 13.4 Fixed-Term Employment.

13.3.8 Where the funding that supports an employee’s contingent funded employment ceases, the University will provide the employee with all relevant details relating to the non-renewal of the contingent funded employment. The process relating to the non-renewal of the contingent funded employment will be in accordance with the University Policies and Procedures, and these procedures will not be changed without consultation with employees and the Unions through the Staff Consultative Committee.

13.3.9 It is not the intention of this clause that the conditions of employment of an employee be worse than if they had been employed on a fixed-term appointment subject to contingent funding. That is, an Employee engaged in contingent funded employment would normally be engaged for the term of the funding supporting the position. Accordingly, the University will not terminate the employment of an employee on a contingent funded basis unless:

  • the contingent funding that supports the position ceases or is insufficient; or
  • the inherent nature of the work required has changed significantly and the skills and experience of the employee will not enable them to complete the requirements of the position; or
  • termination is under the probation or disciplinary provisions of this Agreement.

13.3.10 Where an employee’s contingent funded employment is terminated the employee will be provided notice and severance payments in accordance with the following:

  • a minimum of five (5) weeks’ notice for Professional employees and English Language Teaching employees, or four (4) months’ notice for Academic employees in accordance with Clause 31.2 Notice of Termination;
  • a contingent funded employee will be eligible for severance payments when the same or similar duties are no longer required by the University. Severance pay will be paid in accordance with the following:
 Less than and up to 1 year  Nil
 More than 1 year and up to 3 years  6 weeks' pay
 More than 3 years and up to 4 years  8 weeks' pay
 More than 4 years and up to 8 years 10 weeks' pay
 More than 8 years and up to 10 years 12 weeks' pay
 More than 10 years 14 weeks' pay
                       

For the purposes of this clause, ‘weeks’ pay means the ordinary time rate of pay for the employee concerned.

13.4 Fixed term employment

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

13.4.2 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).

13.4.3 The use of fixed term employment is limited to the employment of an employee engaged in a work activity that comes within the description of one or more of the following circumstances.

13.4.3.1 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.

13.4.3.2 Research

Research means work activity by an employee engaged on primarily research functions for a contract period not exceeding five (5) years. Research may also include work activities undertaken by an employee between research contracts whilst external research funding grants are being considered, which would not normally exceed twelve (12) months.

13.4.3.3 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) weeks notice.

13.4.3.4 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.

13.4.3.5 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. In accordance with Clause 29.1 employees engaged under this category of employment are not eligible to apply for Voluntary Severance.

13.4.3.6 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.

13.4.3.7 Employment aligned to strategic initiatives

A fixed term appointment may be offered where:

  • the University has a strategic need; and/or
  • 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.

13.4.3.8 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.

13.4.3.9 Apprenticeship or traineeship

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

13.4.4 Further appointment and conversion

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

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

  • has performed satisfactorily in the position; and
  • was initially appointed to the University through a competitive selection process. In exceptional circumstances, the requirement to have been appointed to the University through a competitive selection process may be waived by the Executive Director.

13.4.5 An employee engaged on a full-time 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.

13.4.6 Severance pay

13.4.6.1 A fixed term employee with more than 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 a 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

13.4.6.2 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.

13.4.7 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.

13.5 Casual employment

13.5.1 General conditions for Professional and Academic casual employment

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

13.5.1.2 A casual employee will mean a person engaged by the hour to perform work as required by the University and paid on an hourly basis that includes a 25% loading related to benefits for which a casual employee is not eligible.

13.5.2 Casual employment (Professional employees)

13.5.2.1 The minimum period of engagement for a casual professional employee will be as follows:

Description
Minimum period of engagement for casuals
Casual professional employees who are students (including postgraduate students) and who are expected to attend the University on that day in their capacity as students
1 hour
Casual professional employees with a primary occupation elsewhere (or with the University)
1 hour
Casual professional employees who are Disability Support workers
2 hours
All other casual professional employees 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.
 

13.5.2.2 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. The casual professional employee salary rates are set out in Schedule E.

13.5.2.3 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.

13.5.2.4 Conversion

13.5.2.4.1 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.

13.5.2.4.2 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.

13.5.2.4.3 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.

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

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

13.5.3 Casual employment (Academic employees)

13.5.3.1 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. The casual academic employee salary rates are as set out in Schedules B and C.

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

13.5.3.3 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.

13.5.3.4 It is acknowledged that academic casual employees may be engaged to undertake work activities not covered in Schedule B commensurate with their qualifications, subject matter expertise and experience. In these circumstances, the casual academic rates set out in Schedule B will not apply and the casual academic employee will receive payment based on a casual hourly rate calculated in accordance with Schedule C.

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.