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Boost for casual worker conversion rights


More casual workers will be able to request a shift to permanent employment under legislation set to be introduced to parliament.

Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O'Dwyer said the bill, which will be launched in the lower house on Wednesday, was a balanced approach.

"Many in the community are concerned about security of employment. But if regulation is too onerous, it is likely that employers will be less willing to create jobs," Ms O'Dwyer said.

"If award-reliant employees have the right to make a request and it is subject to reasonable safeguards for employers, it is only fair that the same right is extended to other casuals who currently do not have the same right."

The move extends a Fair Work Commission decision to provide eligible award-reliant casual employees with a right to request to convert to full-time or part-time employment.

While the commission's decision affected 1.5 million workers, another 500,000 mining, retail and hospitality casuals are expected to be covered by the new laws.

The legislation means all eligible employees will be able to ask their boss to move from casual employment to permanent.

© AAP 2019

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