Ask HABA: Employee Classification

HABA outline casual, part-time and full-time employee roles.


The classification of employees is an important aspect to ensure employers are not underpaying their staff. Do you know the difference between a part-time or casual employee and that classification is not just based on qualification level?

Under the Fair work system employees are classified in a range of ways, firstly by their employment type but secondly by their actual position. However the classification is not always clearly explained.

Full-time employees work an average of 38 hours per week and are guaranteed these hours. A full-time employee must be provided with 38 hours per week and have full award entitlements such as paid annual leave and paid personal carer’s leave.

Part-time employees work an agreed amount of hours that must be documented in writing. Their rosters must be reasonably predictable. Similar to the full-time employee, part-time employees receive a pro-rata amount of annual leave and personal carer’s leave. For example, if an employer and an employee agree to 20 hours a week, the employee is guaranteed to work 20 hours a week. Their rosters should fall relatively on the same days and working the same hours throughout the week. If an employer does not provide 20 hours, the employee is still entitled to be paid for 20 hours. Anything over 20 hours is considered over time and must be paid accordingly.

Casual employees are flexible and are not guaranteed any hours per week. They are employed on an as needed basis and do not receive paid annual leave or personal carer’s leave entitlements. Overtime only becomes relevant if a casual employees works out the span of hours, 7am – 9 pm Monday – Friday, 7am – 6pm Saturdays or 10am – 5pm on Sunday.

An employee’s classification in relation to wage rates depends not only on the qualification the employee has achieved, but more specifically the duties actually carried out by the employee. For example, you may have a fully qualified beauty therapist or hairdresser who is only working on reception. This employee would be paid as a receptionist not a beauty therapist or hairdresser.

Visit or call 1800 997 795 for further information.