• Trish Hall

Permanent employees

Now you’re familiar with who is casual and who is fixed-term, it is natural to discuss permanent employees. We’ll cover off some key things such as being employed ‘indefinitely’, holiday entitlements, hours and resigning and changes/restructuring.

The glue!

They’re effectively the staff you employee on an indefinite basis, this is not to say they will stay on an indefinite basis! Naturally, staff resign, this is beside the point.

Permanent employees must be viewed at the constant glue that the company needs to stay together. These are the positions that the company envisages to have a place in the organization for quite some time, if not always.


These staff have automatic rights to accrue leave so when they hit their anniversary dates there is no question as to what leave they have available. The value of leave will differ but the entitlements will remain the same. For example:

After 6 months of continuous service an employee will be able to take:

  • 5 days sick leave per annum, and for each anniversary thereafter. This can accrue to a total of 20 days and can be used if the employee or any person who depends on them for care is sick or injured.

  • Bereavement leave – 3 days for an immediate family member (spouse/partner/child/sibling/parent/grandparent/grandchild/spouse or partners parent) and 1 day if the employee accepts the employee has suffered a bereavement.

  • 10 days of family violence leave per year. This is not accumulative.

  • After 12 months of current and continuous service, an employee can take 4 weeks of

paid annual leave. Fun fact – they have an entitlement to take a 2-week block of continuous annual leave if they wish and you must grant it (of course the timing can be negotiated).


A permanent employee (as with a fixed-term employee) can work full time or part-time hours. Their hours might be fixed i.e., as exact 40 hours per week or they might be variable. It is paramount that there is agrees hours of work clause in the agreement.

It is also possible to work flexible hours – some at home, some at work, split locations and so forth whilst being a permanent employee.

Resigning and changes/ restructuring

Just because someone is employed permanently doesn’t mean they have to say with you forever! Staff can still resign, and this is their prerogative. Ensure they follow the notice period requirements contained within your employment agreement.

You might be wondering what can you do if the business needs are changing? The employment courts recognise that businesses do change and sometimes this might require a business to embark on a restructuring process and sometimes this can result in employees being made redundant. It is your prerogative an employer to change your business structure as needed. However, it is equally your responsibility to follow a fair and reasonable process. Namely, this means you will need to provide full information to your employee on your proposal and allow them to comment before you make your decision.