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HSA submits evidence in Casual Loading case

May 4, 2021

HSA has officially submitted its evidence to the Fair Work Commission to try and secure fair pay for casual workers.

For the past 12 months, the AWU (who powers HSA) and SDA have been putting together a legal case to change the Hair and Beauty Award to make it fairer for casuals.

Under the Award, casual workers currently don’t receive their 25% casual loadings on weekends or public holidays – and we’re out to change that.

Casual loading compensates you for entitlements you typically miss out on, like annual leave, personal/carer’s leave, job security, and set hours.

But right now, casual hairdressers and beauticians are paid at the same rate as their full-time and part-time colleagues. It means that casual workers who regularly work weekends miss out on job security and paid leave, and don’t even receive proper pay to cover this.

In our submission, we also argue that including casual loading for weekends and public holidays will:

  • Improve living standards of all casual employees
  • Help low-paid workers afford the basics they need to live, like food, bills, and rent/mortgage.
  • Compensate casual workers for giving up their weekends and missing out on family and social events, and community activities.

Our evidence includes written statements from casual hair stylists, who talk about their workload and hours, and the effect this casual loading would have on them and their families. These stylists will also present their evidence in person to the Fair Work Commission during our court hearing.

We also commissioned an Expert Witness Report from Associate Professor Martin O’Brien from the University of Wollongong, to research and analyse the financial impact this might have on salons across Australia.

Professor O’Brien looked at heaps of government data, and he found that if the proposed change are made, the cost to employers will be low – just 0.83% to 1.91% for a business.

In our submission, we argue that introducing this loading will have a positive impact on all casual Hair + Beauty employees, with only a minimal impact on overall employer costs.

The AWU and SDA made the joint submission, and we’re expecting to argue the case in person in July this year. In the meantime, you can sign our petition and support the campaign to ensure casual workers are paid fairly!

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