The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) has welcomed the ruling by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) which will allows casual workers to demand a permanent full-time or part-time position.

The FWC ruled that employees who work regular hours for over 12 months will be able to request a permanent job, although employers will be able to refuse the request on certain reasonable grounds.

The AHA welcomed the ruling, with CEO Stephen Ferguson saying the announcement by the independent umpire was a ‘common-sense win’ for both employers and employees.

“The Fair Work Commission agreed with the AHA submission that greater flexibility in part-time employment would be in the interests of both employee and employer,” Mr Ferguson said.

“The FWC found that the current part-time provision was close to being a ‘dead letter’ and unworkable. This has traditionally seen a low percentage of part-time workers across our industry.

“We proposed a more flexible system which contained appropriate safeguards for workers including guaranteed hours, same days off and overtime measures.”

“This decision by the independent umpire will bring benefits to workers including more certainty, regular employment and the capacity to apply for loans and mortgages.”

Although the AHA welcomed the ruling, the Australian Retailers Association was less enthusiastic, with Executive Director Robert Zimmerman saying he was concerned about the implications for retailers.

We fear this verdict will significantly impact retailers as casuals’ flexible hours are essential to the industry,” Zimmerman said.

“Retail employees are an important asset for retailers and the overall industry, therefore the ARA will be seeking more flexible part-time arrangements through the Award Review process”.

The ruling will apply to 88 modern awards were no such provision currently exists.