There’s nothing casual about teaching: Employment catagories

Federation encourages all members to familiarise themselves with the different employment categories and how the classifications apply to casual and temporary teachers, to ensure all teachers are employed correctly.

A teacher cannot choose how they would like to be employed nor can a principal. The Crown Employees (Teachers in Schools and Related Employees) Salaries and Conditions Award 2020, clearly defines the circumstances that determine whether a teacher should be engaged as a casual or temporary teacher. Variations to the Award cannot be made by the school as the Award overrides decisions at the local level.

Casual teachers are usually employed on a day-to-day basis to cover a vacancy. Typically, casual teachers are engaged to cover a teacher who is on a form of short-term leave, such as sick leave or FACS leave, or to provide release, such as for professional learning. Occasionally casual teachers are engaged to fill a vacancy for less than a full day, and will be paid on an hourly basis with the minimum engagement being two hours.

Temporary teachers are employed when a position is known to be vacant for four weeks or more (full-time), or one to four days per week (part-time) for two terms or more. Typically, temporary teachers are engaged to cover longer vacancies, for example maternity leave, extended leave or secondment.

Can a school put a teacher through a trial period as a casual before offering a temporary engagement?

No. A teacher must be engaged in the temporary position for the length of the known vacancy from the first day of their employment in that vacancy. This is a requirement of the Department and Federation as parties to the Award. Employment provisions cannot be varied locally by the school.

Can a teacher be engaged for a term when there is a vacancy for the year?

No. The teacher must be engaged for the known length of the vacancy.

What happens when there is a vacancy that goes across a calendar year?

In 2018, amendments to the Teaching Service Act 1980 enabled temporary engagements to be offered across calendar years for up to three years.

How much notice is required to cease a temporary engagement?

As much notice as is possible without disadvantaging the teacher. Sometimes a temporary engagement is terminated before the end of the engagement, either by the teacher or the school. In the case of teacher-initiated termination no notice is needed, although as much notice as possible will help the school.

How much notice must a school give?

When a school terminates a temporary engagement, four weeks’ notice must be given. The notice should not include school holidays where the last day of the engagement is before the vacation. If the engagement is across a vacation it may be included as notice.