Casual vs part time employment: What’s the difference?

Your employment status is critical to determining your entitlements and knowing your workplace rights. Although there are now many types of work models with the introduction of remote and hybrid work as well as the traditional in-house model, employees are still offered contracts that determine their responsibilities and rights.

As a part of your contract, you would fall into either of the three main categories of employment types:

  1. Full-time
  2. Part-time
  3. Casual

Full-time work is where the work week is determined by the number of hours (on average, 38 hours). Employees would be entitled to all benefits such as sick and annual leave pay for a set amount of salary every year.

On the other hand, we have part-time and casual employment. Let’s discuss what the differences between the two are.

Working Hours

Part-time employees usually work a fixed number of hours every week. This would average amount to less than 38 hours a week or between 2-4 days.

They are paid for the hours they work on a pro-rata basis. For example, a role can have a salary of 70,000, but a part-time employee in this role will be paid the equivalent rate (calculated on the hours they work).

Casual employees on the other hand, work a varying number of hours per week (but it can be regular hours), but they are often rostered to work as required. Such as if they are required to fill in for a shift or if there is a need to finish some extra unexpected work. There are also no guaranteed work hours for a casual employee.


Part-time workers are usually offered the same benefits as full-time employees (except for salary on the number of hours worked). Some other key aspects are:

  1. Annual leave
  2. Sick leave and carer’s leave
  3. Must give or receive notice before the employment contract is terminated
  4. Fixed-term or ongoing employment

Casual employment, on the other hand, has a more flexible approach:

  1. Irregular and unguaranteed work hours
  2. No sick, annual or carer’s leave
  3. No notice is required before termination of the job
  4. After regular employment for 12months, can access parental leave or request flexible work arrangements.

Which is better?

While part-time and casual work has pros and cons, it is ultimately up to you to decide which type of employment works best for your lifestyle. 

Part-time employment is an excellent option for those with families or other responsibilities. It offers job security, benefits and flexibility.

Casual employment has the potential for you to earn more at an hourly rate (in most cases). It offers more flexibility than part-time employment. There’s an opportunity for employees to make money while pursuing other ventures such as studies or personal projects. However, one major disadvantage is that work is not guaranteed for casual employees.

While your choice in employment depends on your work-life commitments, knowing your rights and entitlements can help you navigate your role, responsibilities and legal rights more effectively.

Your employment contract should contain details of your employment and entitlements. If you do not have a contract, speak with your manager or HR team to discuss items of legal concern.

If you are on a hunt for your next role, get in touch with us!