Australia’s casual workforce could be set for a massive payday after a court decision ruled they are entitled to paid leave. A decision that could cost employers $8 billion in back pay.

The Federal Court on Wednesday redefined what a casual worker is on Wednesday.

Those who are on rostered shifts continually will no longer classify as casual.

It means they will be able to accrue annual leave as well as carer’s leave and paid compassionate leave.

CFMEU National President Tony Maher welcomed the decision while declaring an end to the “rort” that has seen millions of Australians denied paid leave despite working full-time hours.

“This is a fantastic decision that puts an end to the ‘permanent casual’ rort that has become a scourge in the coal mining industry and across the workforce,” Maher said.

“It’s a decision that passes the pub test on what it means to be casual and is consistent with community expectations that casual work is irregular and intermittent.”

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The Federal Court’s decision will affect 1.6 million Australians.

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