What's the difference between full-time, part-time and casual work?

Like many international students, you may get a part-time or casual job to help pay your living expenses while you study in Australia. It is important that you know your rights in the workplace.

Full-time employees generally work 38 hours per week, and receive pay for a full week’s work as well as conditions like paid annual leave and sick leave. A full-time worker is also entitled to notice of termination of their employment. This means that if your employer no longer wants to employ you, they have to provide a period of notice (or payment instead of the notice period) depending on how long you have worked there.

Part-time employees work regular hours each week, but less than the 38 hours of full-time employees. Part-time employees get the same minimum entitlements (such as sick leave and annual leave) as a full-time employee, but on a pro-rata basis.

An employee is casual if:

  • they’re offered a job
  • the offer doesn’t include a firm advance commitment that the work will continue indefinitely with an agreed pattern of work
  • they accept the offer knowing there is no firm advance commitment and become an employee.

A regular pattern of work doesn’t automatically mean the employee is permanent.

Casual employees do not get paid sick leave or annual leave, and are not usually entitled to notice of termination. This means a casual employee can be terminated at any time.

For more information about:

If you feel at any point your workplace is not treating you fairly, you can access a range of multilingual resources on the FairWork website or contact them directly via phone or email. FairWork also have a free translating and interpreting service if you feel more comfortable speaking in your first language.

You can also make an appointment with the Student Wellbeing team at Holmesglen who can provide you with free support.

Here's a video that differentiate full-time, part-time and casual employees. 



Watch this video to learn some of the common WORKPLACE MYTHS.