Morena – think about this as ‘two parts’. First part is the Employment Law part – what her contract says, and what the employment law says around any change on the terms of an employees contract. 2nd part is the obligations around the wage subsidy you have received which I assume is a part-time subsidy.
First part – if you are going to change the casual staff member’s terms, then you will need to look at what the contract with her/him says ie does it offer a guaranteed set of hours or is it truly casual ie you can set the hours. Once you have clarity on this, then you still need to consult through this change, explain the reasons why and give her the opportunity to respond etc – just talk to her/him/
Second part – this is a bit of a challenge around the math, but as I understand, your obligation is pass over the full amount of the wage subsidy to the casual that you claimed and got paid by MSD. This has nothing to do with how many hours she works. The way I would work this out is like this:
1) calculation one – how much is the wage subsidy you are getting for their role = $350 per week
2) calculation two – how much are you paying her for the 5-10 hours per week. Lets just say you are giving her 10 hours at $25 per hour = $250 for the week.
3) calculation three = you look at the difference between 2 and 1 – so she has been paid $250 and you have received $350 from MSD for her role, she you have to top up her pay by $100. If however, the person ended up working 20 hours at $25 per hour, then she would be paid $500 and you would have $350 from MSD and you would need to top her up $150, unless the person agreed to accept a lower rate (with consultation).
End result – you have to pay the person at a min. the wage subsidy, and you can pay them more, but you can’t pay them less.
If you agree with the person that she stops working for you and leaves, then you need to pay back the unused portion of the MSD subsidy you have claimed, and MSD can help you work that out.
Does that help?