Casual Staff

The University requires that all casual staff have accepted an offer of employment and have completed their onboarding task before they officially commence undertaking work at the University. The prospective casual employee will have 7 days from date of offer, to accept their casual contract. The casual staff member is responsible for completing these tasks and submitting their own timesheet using CAPS.

  • General information

    Casual staff are engaged by the hour/session and work on an ad hoc or irregular basis for a given work period. Each work period is a separate and distinct period of service. A separate engagement must be created for each distinct period of service.

    Prospective casual staff have 7 days to accept their approved Offer of Casual Employment and must complete their onboarding tasks before they officially commence undertaking work at the University.

    Hours or sessions worked by the casual must be submitted by the casual and validated by the Timesheet Validator in order for payment to be made.

    Casual engagement and timesheet tasks can be actioned via Staff Services Online (SSO).

  • Casual engagement and payment process

    The below diagram shows where the casual staff tasks sit within the full CAPS Engagement and Payment Process.

    CAPS Engagement and Payment Process
  • Casual engagement

    After a casual engagement is approved in CAPS, the prospective casual staff member will receive an email to their nominated account which contains a link to an Offer of Employment. The prospective casual must verify their identity to gain access to the CAPS system and accept their offer. Before accepting, they must carefully review all details of the offer including:

    • the duties for which the casual staff member is engaged
    • the period for which the casual staff member is engaged
    • the indicative total hours the casual staff member is likely to be required to work during the period
    • the hourly/sessional rate of pay.

    It is important to note that the total estimated hours/sessions on the offer are indicative only and may be subject to change. If additional work is required by the School or Branch, the casual must have authorisation from the supervisor prior to commencing the work.

    Upon acceptance of the Offer of Employment, the casual staff member’s employment with the University of Adelaide becomes official.

    The casual staff member receives an email containing a PDF copy of the engagement. This is a legal document which, in conjunction with the Enterprise Agreement, defines the details of the relationship between the casual staff member and the University of Adelaide. The email will also advise that the casual onboarding task may be required (see details below).

    The following help guides are available to assist with how to Action your Offer of Employment in CAPS:

  • Casual onboarding

    Upon the acceptance of the offer, the casual will receive a subsequent email prompting them to complete the onboarding tasks (if applicable). It may be useful to have the following information (if applicable) on hand before starting to complete the onboarding task in CAPS:

    • Passport
    • Visa
    • Qualifications
    • Bank Details
    • Tax Details
    • Emergency contact details
    • Working with Children Check/DCSI

    Where the casual has previously supplied information to the University this will be pre-populated in onboarding therefore the casual will be required to simply verify this information.

    It is a requirement that the onboarding task is complete before the casual can commence work.  Access to timesheets will be available once onboarding has been completed.

    Note: all casuals will be required to complete their onboarding task the first time they receive an offer from the CAPS system. For subsequent engagements, the onboarding task will only be required if there is more than a 30 days gap between engagement periods.

    The following help guides are available to assist with completing onboarding in CAPS:

    Evidence of Australian Citizenship - Casual engagements are subject to the staff member obtaining and retaining a legal entitlement to work in Australia and staff must provide documentary evidence of this.
    Following changes to Australian citizenship laws (responsibility of the Department for Immigration and Border Protection), Australian citizens can provide:

    • Their passport bio page
    • Their citizenship certificate or
    • Their birth certificate, but only if you were born prior to 20 August 1986
    • Casual timesheet

      Casual staff must submit timesheets through Staff Services Online (SSO) before the fortnightly deadline when claiming payment for work undertaken in a given period. On the morning after the deadline, the Timesheet Validator will receive a notification to approve any entries submitted on time, prior to payment being made.

      The below table outlines the type of casual timesheets available and what is required for entry by the casual:

      Timesheet type Entry specifications
      Professional Timesheet Professional timesheets require start, end, break start and break end times on each day worked.
      Academic Timesheet Academic timesheets require entry of the number of sessions worked on each day in the fortnight alongside each task and course.
      English Language Teacher (ELT) Timesheet ELT timesheets require start, end, break start and break end times on each day worked along with each task.

      Timesheets must be submitted and validated within the set timeframes in order for payment to occur. Click here to view timesheet submission and validation timeframes.

      Progressively enter time – save for later

      Casual staff members can choose to progressively enter and save their timesheets. When entering time into the timesheet, simply select “Save for Later”. Saved timesheets can be accessed via SSO Timesheets in the same location as submitting. Saved timesheets cannot be validated or paid until they are submitted.

      Amending timesheets

      After a timesheet has been submitted for validation, it is still possible to amend as follows:

      • Access the timesheet in SSO in the same location to where it was originally submitted. Timesheets can still be amended and resubmitted when they are in the status of Saved, Needs Approval, Approved, Pushed Back.
      • Once a timesheet has been paid, amendments are only possible online if the hours/sessions are for days that have not already been paid.
        If the time to be claimed are for days that have been paid, casual staff should contact their Casual Coordinator for assistance as an offline timesheet amendment form is required, which requires physical signatures validating amendments to time worked. Delays to payments and adjustments can be expected with this manual offline process.

      The following help guides are available to assist with managing timesheets in CAPS:

    • Responsibility

      The responsibilities of the casual are as follows:

      • Action the Offer of Casual Employment prior to commencing work at the university
      • Complete the onboarding
      • Submit casual timesheet promptly at the completion of any fortnight worked
    • Timesheet submission deadlines

      Standard Timeframes depicts the standard 4-week cycle that determines timeframes for submitting and validating casual timesheets in CAPS. Casual staff should familiarise themselves with these timeframes.
      Visit the Timesheet submission and Validation Deadlines.

    • Induction

      Casual staff are expected to receive an induction when commencing work in a new area of the university. Please refer to the University’s Staff Induction website for further information

    • IT access

      Once a casual engagement has been approved and accepted the casual staff member is allocated a staff ID number and email address.

      Casual staff who have been identified as having a previous relationship with the University (eg. staff, student or other), will continue to use the same 7-digit ID number previously allocated.

      Please refer to the Information Technology & Digital Services website for instructions on setting up/changing your password.

      Disabling IT Access

      IT access for casual staff is disabled one month after the end date specified on a casual engagement. This allows time for submission of any final timesheets and for casual staff members to download their final pay slips from Staff Services Online (SSO).

      The disabling of IT access occurs without notification to the casual staff member or the School/Branch.

      Unless another relationship is in place (e.g. Titleholder or Visitor), access to the following services will be disabled:

      • shared folders, home folders and computers on campus
      • @adelaide email address
      • access to calendar
      • access to staff only websites
      • access to online services and internet

      Please note: if the casual staff member is enrolled as a University of Adelaide student, the end date of a casual engagement will not impact their IT access.

      If unpaid work is expected to be undertaken between casual engagement periods, a visitor form will need to be submitted to enable IT access to continue during this period

    • Conversion from Casual to Continuing Employment

      What are the University’s obligations to offer continuing employment?

      The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) was amended on 26 March 2021 to include new casual conversion provisions. Under the new provisions, the University is required to assess each casual staff member who has reached 12 months’ service and offer conversion to part-time or full-time continuing employment where:

      1. The staff member has, during at least the last 6 months (of the 12 months’ service), worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis (assessed by contract) which, without significant adjustment, the staff member could continue to work as a full-time or part-time staff member; and
      2. there are no reasonable grounds to not offer conversion; and
      3. the reasonable grounds are based on facts that are known, or reasonably foreseeable, at the time an assessment was undertaken.


      Can a staff member make a request?

      Casual staff members also have a residual right under the Fair Work Act to request conversion to continuing employment themselves. They may do so provided:

      1. they haven’t refused an offer to become a continuing staff member in the last 6 months; and
      2. the University hasn’t advised the staff member, in the last 6 months, that they will not be offered conversion to continuing employment based on reasonable grounds; and
      3. the University hasn’t already refused a request from the casual staff member to become a permanent staff member (based on reasonable grounds) in the last 6 months.


      What steps has the University taken so far?

      The University was required by 27 September 2021, to assess all existing casual staff for their eligibility to be converted to continuing employment.  These assessments are now complete and staff have been advised of the outcome of the assessments. 

      The University has also continued to conduct further assessments as required by the legislation with respect to casual staff who reached 12 months’ service after 27 September.

      Assessments will continue to occur on a fortnightly basis alongside fortnightly payroll periods.

      To date, there have been over 2000 casual staff employment engagements reviewed to determine whether a staff member is eligible to be converted to continuing employment. 


      What does the University’s assessment process entail?

      The following process is undertaken by the University on a fortnightly basis. 

      1. Data detailing a casual staff member’s service and hours of work (based on timesheet data) is provided to the local area for preliminary assessment.
      2. The local area assesses whether the staff member has a regular pattern of hours and/or whether there are reasonable grounds to not offer conversion.
      3. The preliminary assessment is returned to HR Branch.
      4. The Executive Director, Human Resources reviews the preliminary assessment and endorses.
      5. The outcome is communicated to the casual staff member within 21 days of the staff member having completed 12 months’ service.
      6. If the staff member is eligible for conversion, an offer is made to the casual staff member to convert from casual to continuing employment.  The casual staff member has the right to decline the offer.  If the offer is accepted, a new contract of employment is generated for the continuing employment.
      7. If the staff member is not eligible to be converted, the staff member continues their employment as a casual staff member under their existing contract of employment.


      Further tips for Supervisors & Casual Coordinators to consider

      Contracts should only be issued for the dates the work is required to be performed. Issuing contracts for periods beyond actual work dates may distort the term of engagement and other implications.

      Creating new casual contracts for the purpose of increasing the number of hours / sessions will impact the casual assessment process.

      It is important that timesheets are validated and submitted on time for the timesheet to be included for assessment purposes. Further information is available on the CAPS dedicated webpage.



      Your HR Advisor is here to assist if have any questions regarding the above. In addition, please do not hesitate to contact the Casual Assessment team c/o with any queries.

    • Guides for casual staff