The recent decision of the the case of WORKPAC PTY LTD v ROSSATO & ORS [2021] HCA 23  has many applications for dentists and their employees.

The judgement statement of the High Court sets out that: “The High Court held that a “casual employee” is an employee who has no firm advance commitment from the employer as to the duration of the employee’s employment or the days (or hours) the employee will work, and provides no reciprocal commitment to the employer. Where parties commit the terms of their employment relationship to a written contract and thereafter adhere to those terms, the requisite firm advance commitment must be found in the binding contractual obligations of the parties; a mere expectation of continuing employment on a regular and systematic basis is not sufficient for the purposes of the Act….. “

This decision once properly considered may change the way in which dentists are engaged in dental practices because of the ‘no firm advance commitment’ means of defining casual employees.

Dentist practice owners need to give proper consideration to this decision in engaging persons who work with no firm advance commitment.