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Definitions of a seasonal, casual, part-time, and full-time workers

What is the definition of a casual, part-time, and full-time worker?

The law does not provide a statutory definition of these types of workers. Generally speaking, the law, like the Employment Relations Act 2000 and the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, applies to all employees regardless of their label.

However, workers have to meet certain criteria to qualify for some employment entitlements, such as paid parental leave, annual leave, sick leave and bereavement leave. Some workers may not qualify for all of these entitlements because of their work patterns.

Click on the below links for more information on

Parental leave

Annual holidays

Pay as you go holiday pay

Sick and bereavement leave

It would be important for the employer and employee, when starting the employment relationship, to be clear on the type of work and the hours of work and this should be reflected in the nature of their employment agreement.

An employment agreement's nature may be defined as:

  • permanent, where an employee is employed for an indefinite duration;
  • fixed term, where an employee is employed for a specific time period; or
  • casual, where an employee is only expected to work from time to time.

More information on fixed term agreements

More information on employment agreements

Use our Holidays and Leave Tool to work out entitlements for public holidays, and sickness and bereavement leave.


Date Modified: Thursday, 11 December 2014

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