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Casual Professional and Sessional Academic Staff Employment procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure is effective from 21 June 2022.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Procedure outlines the process for recruiting and employing casual professional and sessional academic staff at the University.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Procedure applies to casual professional and sessional academic staff employed by the University.

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Section 4 - Policy

(4) This Procedure is pursuant to the Employment of Staff policy.

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Section 5 - Procedure

Recruitment

(5) Casual professional and sessional academic employment enables a Head of Organisational Unit or nominee to engage staff on a flexible and short-term basis to meet their areas' operational business needs during peak work periods, for identified tasks, and/or to cover short term absences.

(6) A position description is not required for casual professional and sessional academic appointments. 

(7) Advertising is not compulsory for the recruitment of casual professional and sessional academic staff. The Head of Organisational Unit or nominee may offer such work to prospective staff on the basis of referrals or knowledge of the prospective staff member.

(8) The Head of Organisational Unit or nominee may request the assistance of HR Central Services in recruiting casual professional and sessional academic staff, which may include assistance in advertising a specific employment opportunity on the Deakin careers site. HR Central Services can also provide a Head of Organisational Unit or nominee with access to the DeakinRecruit casual register to identify suitable people who have already expressed interest in casual work at Deakin.

(9) The Head of Organisational Unit or nominee must conduct an informal interview with a prospective casual staff member to discuss the work requirements. The Head of Organisational Unit or nominee is responsible for ensuring the prospective casual staff member:

  1. has the necessary skills and competencies
  2. has the right to work in Australia
  3. identifies any conflicts of interest in undertaking the casual employment in accordance with the Conflict of Interest procedure
  4. holds a current Employee Working with Children Check in accordance with the University’s Working with Children Check Guidelines.

(10) The Head of Organisational Unit or nominee must obtain a minimum of one verbal or written reference check or a vouch from a current Deakin staff member attesting to the capability and suitability of the person to successfully perform the work proposed. The name of the staff member vouching must be recorded in DeakinRecruit and the reference or written notes must be uploaded to DeakinRecruit.

Employment of new casual professional or sessional academic staff

(11) The Head of Organisational Unit or nominee must engage the appointee via DeakinRecruit for Casuals. An offer will be made to the appointee, which includes the following information:

  1. the terms of employment
  2. the duties to be performed
  3. the estimated hours of work
  4. the rate of pay
  5. a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement.

(12) The appointee must accept the offer and the terms and conditions of employment in DeakinRecruit before they commence work.  This is required so the appointee can access DeakinPeople including to submit timesheets.

(13) The appointee must provide relevant proof of identity status (including a marriage certificate or statutory declaration in relation to a change of name from that recorded at birth), their Working with Children Check and right to work evidence before they commence work.

(14) The appointee may also be required to provide evidence of qualifications in the form of original documents where this is determined by the supervisor as relevant to the position.

Induction

(15) During the casual professional or sessional academic staff member's first employment engagement, their leader should clarify the role and performance expectations of the position with the staff member, and provide any additional information as required including an induction to the University and the local work area.

Variation to a casual engagement

(16) If the current work area, or another area of the University, wishes to engage a casual professional or sessional academic staff member in additional work, the Head of Organisational Unit or nominee must create a new employment record via DeakinRecruit for Casuals. An additional offer will be made to the staff member with the information for that additional work in accordance with clause 11(a) to (e).

(17) If the current work area wishes to update (including location, supervisor or General Ledger distribution) or terminate an existing employee record for a current casual professional or sessional academic staff member, they must use SMARTHR.

Monitoring use of casual staff

(18) The use of casual professional and sessional academic employment should be monitored regularly by the relevant Head of Organisational Unit or nominee taking into account the current and potentially continuing nature of the workload, skill requirements and funding. If the requirements of a position have changed, then the mode of employment should be re-assessed.

(19) HR Central Services will regularly audit and terminate inactive casual professional or sessional academic records. An appointment that has been inactive for more than 20 weeks may be terminated by HR Central Services.

(20) The relevant Head of Organisational Unit or nominee is responsible for ensuring that the hours worked by a casual professional or sessional academic staff member are reasonable and take into consideration the needs of the University and the needs of the staff member. Guidelines for ensuring casual staff are working reasonable hours are available to support Faculties and Portfolios in meeting their health, wellbeing and legal responsibilities. 

Re-employment of staff

(21) Staff whose continuing or fixed term employment at the University has ceased due to redundancy (whether voluntary or otherwise) cannot be re-employed by the University in any capacity, including as a casual professional or sessional academic staff member, within 12 months of their cessation date.

(22) If a Head of Organisational Unit or nominee wants to re-employ a person who has previously performed casual work for the University and whose casual jobs have expired, they will need to engage the casual appointee via DeakinRecruit for Casuals. If the appointee has not worked at Deakin for more than 20 weeks they will be required to provide relevant proof of identity, right to work, working with children check and qualifications (where relevant) again.

Timesheets

(23) Casual professional and sessional academic staff members are paid by submitting an online casual timesheet through DeakinPeople. Casual professional and sessional academic staff must submit timesheets fortnightly, at a minimum. By submitting the timesheet the staff member is confirming that the hours recorded in the timesheet are a true and accurate reflection of the hours worked. 

(24) Leaders will ensure casual professional and sessional academic staff submit timesheets at a minimum on a fortnightly basis. Leaders must review and action submitted timesheets by approving or denying each timesheet submission prior to the fortnightly pay cut off. The leader will only approve the timesheet where they are satisfied that:

  1. the hours recorded in the timesheet are a true and accurate reflection of the hours worked;
  2. the work performed was for a legitimate operational business need;
  3. the correct time reporting code has been selected for the work performed; and
  4. the hours claimed are in accordance with approved budget and agreed working hours.

(25) If the leader delegates timesheet approval, the delegate must:

  1. have the appropriate financial delegation in accordance with the Delegations policy; and
  2. be able to verify the requirements set out in clause 25a-d.

Minimum period of engagement

(26) Casual professional staff will be engaged for the following minimum periods, unless otherwise agreed to meet their personal circumstances:

  1. 1 hour for staff with a primary occupation at the University or elsewhere outside the University
  2. 1 hour for current students of the University
  3. 3 hours for all others.

(27) Sessional academic staff will be employed by the hour and paid on an hourly basis.

Termination of engagement

(28) A casual professional or sessional academic appointment may be terminated at any time by either the Head of Organisational Unit or nominee or the staff member.

(29) Where a casual professional or sessional academic staff member has been employed on a regular and systematic basis by the University for more than six months, the relevant leader should seek advice from HR Central Services if they no longer wish to engage the staff member.

Supervisor responsibilities and access to facilities

(30) Where possible, the University will seek to provide all sessional academic staff members undertaking work during a teaching period access to information technology and library facilities for the entire teaching period in which they have undertaken their teaching duties.

(31) Leaders are responsible for arranging for casual professional and sessional academic staff members to be provided with access to the appropriate systems, resources and information in order to undertake the relevant duties of the engagement.

(32) Leaders are responsible for ensuring that appropriate communication and protections are in place where the duties require the staff member to access to any type of sensitive information. This is particularly important when engaging students. Leaders should contact HR Central Services for further advice in relation to this area as required.

(33) Leaders must be aware of any limitations to their staff members’ work rights and ensure that the work allocated is in accordance with any work right limitations (where relevant).

Superannuation

(34) Casual professional and sessional academic staff are covered by Part 3A Choice of Fund Requirements of the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992.

(35) If an alternative fund is not nominated, or Deakin is not otherwise required by law to make contributions to an alternative  fund, contributions will then be made to Deakin’s default fund, UniSuper, pursuant to the UniSuper Trust Deed (as amended from time to time) and in accordance with the Deakin University Enterprise Agreement 2017.

Casual long service leave

(36) Where a casual professional or sessional academic staff member has completed seven years of regular and systematic service with the University without having a break of greater than 20 weeks, they will be eligible for long service leave.

(37) Further information is provided on the Casual Long Service leave website.

Additional duties for Academic staff

(38) If an Academic staff member is requested by their supervisor to undertake sessional duties in addition to and separate from the duties specified in their continuing or fixed-term contract, they are deemed to be a sessional academic staff member for the extra hours worked. In taking on these additional sessional duties the academic cannot work for the University more than 1.0 FTE.

Conversion from casual employment

(39) Casual professional or sessional academic staff employed by the University may be eligible to apply for conversion to ongoing employment (casual conversion) in accordance with:

Eligible staff  Eligibility criteria Legislative framework
Sessional academic staff and casual professional staff
employed for a period of 12 months; and
during the last six months have worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis which, without significant adjustment, they could continue to work as either a full-time or part-time employee
Division 4A Fair Work Act 2009
casual professional staff
employed on a regular and systematic basis in the same or a similar and identically classified position in the same budget centre, either:
over the immediately preceding period of 12 months with the average weekly hours worked to be at least 50% of the weekly ordinary hours of work of a full-time staff member; or
over the immediately preceding period of at least 24 months. 
Schedule F Deakin University Enterprise Agreement 2017

(40) Staff should contact HR Central Services for further information on casual conversion.

(41) The University may approve or refuse an application for casual conversion. The University may refuse an application for casual conversion on reasonable grounds and:

  1. is not required to offer casual conversion in accordance with clause 66C of the Fair Work Act 2009
  2. may refuse a request for casual conversion in accordance with clause 5, Schedule F of the Deakin University Enterprise Agreement 2017
will provide reasons for the refusal.

Development of sessional academic staff engaged in teaching

(42) A sessional academic staff member who is/has been engaged to deliver teaching for at least one teaching period within an Academic Year will be entitled to access and be compensated for the following hours of learning and development activities annually:

  1. the internally developed online professional development program ‘Teaching Essentials’ (2 hours); and
  2. specific professional development training within the work unit (1 hour); and
  3. a sessional academic suite of online compliance training (1 hour) as outlined on the Staff Development website.

(43) Eligible sessional academic staff members will be entitled to complete the above training, subject to their leaders approval, and upon completion will be paid the corresponding amount of hours.

(44) Payment and offerings of additional professional development outside of clause 40(a-c) of this Procedure is at the discretion of their leader.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(45) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. casual professional and sessional academic staff: professional or academic staff engaged by and paid on an hourly basis, with a loading to compensate for benefits (such as recreation and sick leave) for which a casual or sessional employee is not eligible.
  2. Head of Organisational Unit: means the Vice-Chancellor, a member of the Executive, an Executive Dean, a Pro Vice-Chancellor, a Head of School or Department, an Executive Director, a Director (including a Director of an Institute), University Librarian and General Counsel.