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Permanent Engagement of Fixed Term Contract and Casual Employees

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​Number:           2018/02

Date of Issue:  10/08/2018

Review Date:   09/08/2019

Download: Permanent Engagement of Fixed Term Contract and Casual Employees




The Government is committed to permanent employment as the preferred form of engagement for public sector employees. The use of fixed term contract and casual employment should be limited to the circumstances provided for under legislation and/or the relevant industrial instrument (usually circumstances where there is not an ongoing role and finite funding).


Engagement of fixed term contract and casual employees

Where there is a vacant and ongoing role within an employing authority, it should be filled on a permanent basis.

New fixed term contract employment arrangements should be made in accordance with legislation and/or the relevant industrial instrument (award and/or agreement), and where there are no permanent employees available to be deployed, seconded or acted into the position.

New casual employment arrangements should only be used where the work is not regular and systematic.

Conversion or appointment of current fixed term contract and casual employees

The Public Sector Commissioner has released Commissioner's Instruction No. 23 – Conversion and appointment of fixed term contract and casual officers to permanency (the Instruction), which provides for the conversion or appointment of current fixed term contract and casual employees, subject to relevant eligibility criteria.

This Instruction supports the early identification and resolution of issues arising from agency practices relating to the engagement and extension of fixed term and casual employees in a manner that is consistent with relevant principles and standards.

Unions, through their officials, employees and delegates, have a legitimate role to represent and advocate on behalf of their members during the processes provided for in the Instruction. 

Employing authorities should work cooperatively and engage with the relevant union/s to facilitate the processes outlined in the Instruction. This includes providing union representatives or delegates with appropriate and reasonable access to employees to explain, organise or participate in an educative process to inform fixed term contract and casual employees of the requirements of the Instruction.

Such cooperation should also extend to making meeting, presentation and communication facilities available to the union in order for it to engage with employees – either through group or individual meetings, or by means otherwise agreed to by the employing authority and the union. The employing authority should encourage employees to attend these meetings.

As part of the review process, it is expected that affected employees will be provided with advice on the potential for change in their employment status and the processes that will be utilised.

It is also expected that employees will be invited to attend formal information sessions on the review process as held by each Department or Agency. Unions will be invited to attend these sessions and provided with an opportunity to contribute. PSLR are to be advised of the time and place of each of these sessions.

The Commissioner's Instruction can be found on the Public Sector Commission's website at






Mark McGowan MLA





For enquiries contact:                            Lindsay Warner

                                                               Executive Director

                                                               Public Sector Commission

                                                               (08) 6552 8670 or


                                                              Alex Lyon

                                                              Executive Director, Public Sector Labour Relations

                                                              Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

                                                              (08) 6552-9398 or

Other relevant Circulars:                       N/A  
Circular/s replaced by this Circular:      N/A


Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.