I'm employed as a casual employee, however the company I work for expects me to request leave and sick leave as though a permanent employee. Which is lovely, especially as I'm technically fired at the end of each shift. I had been wondering recently whether there was some justification an employer had to provide when offering a position as casual (temporary or intermittent variations in the patterns of work is an understandable reason) as opposed to permanent part-time or whatever - guess I shouldn't have been too surprised with the answer.
I don't recall seeing it mentioned in the report, but what are the historical trends in casual work? Are we cycling back towards the work conditions of the early industrial era?
The other interesting part of the report was regards "sham contracting" - that is, employers trying to dodge their responsibilities by claiming their employees are actually contractors, though the relationship is clearly employer-employee. The ATO currently appears to be trying to limit the number of active ABNs by cancelling unused ABNs and enforcing entitlement restrictions on new applications (and reapplications). If you are unfamiliar with ABN entitlement, I'd recommend having a look at the questionnaire on the Australian Business Register website. Part of this deals with sham contracting situations and the ATO will refuse applications in these cases and advises those refused to take this up with their employers - there is a tool on the ATO website that deals specifically with this.
While I would not shed a tear if those employers were put up against the wall, I also don't believe that a government body should pretend that this crap doesn't happen, but it seems harsh to force someone into a conflict I daresay they'll lose. If someone can't get an ABN, then the employer won't be getting into a fascinating discussion about the nature of employment, they'll just hire someone who can get or already has an ABN.
There is no justification for casual when you've got permanent part time. Its just cutting 'costs' by removing sick pay, annual leave. So you end up with sick workers coming in because they can't afford a day off and infecting the regulars and management. Have a look at what award you're working under. There is a period of time before you can convert to permanency with all the normal rights attached. For example logistics and warehousing is 12 months. You might want to look it up so you know where you stand legally. Also, as always have a look for a relevant union for yourself. Its up to yourself and how you feel to know and exercise your rights. And don't do what my mate did and jump at a salary that's stupid for the work he does. $48K gross for 50+hr week with a company car.
Historically, its only after there's been a war where a lot of men have died or a natural disaster such as the Black Death that workers conditions improve thanks to a scarcity of labour. During WW2 we had a total war economy with 1.1% unemployment. Afterwards with the rebuilding of the whole world, unemployment was 3% till 1975. One positive is we're not going to literally break our bodies en masse doing hard labour in the fields or mines. But it does seem as we're going back.
With sham contracting the law is always generally supportive of capital rather than the worker. Who knows the ABN might end up like a a taxi license.
Cab drivers in NSW earn an average of $10.68 an hour across all shifts, while Victorian drivers earn $13.50 an hour. (On a Monday or Tuesday, a Sydney cab driver takes home as little as $7.50 an hour.) The average taxi licence sells for about $400,000 in Victoria, while a NSW licence sells for as much as $450,000. Link.
Whistleblow the fuck out of it, Crikey runs stories about the casualization of the workforce quite often.
Your friend needs to go to a lawyer, she needs to do it now, and she needs to do it before she names and shames on any social media site or talks to anyone from the press.
If money is an issue, find one where the first consultation is free.