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Could casual employment be a thing of the past?

Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten eats a sausage sandwich at Strathfield North Public School polling booth as part of the 2016 Election Day in Sydney, Saturday, July 2, 2016. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Opposition leader Bill Shorten will reveal a Labor government would grant 2.6 million casual workers in Australia the right to ask for a permanent position after 12 months.

The pitch was announced Wednesday as the federal election campaign rolls on.

"Too many Australians are employed as casuals with no clear prospect of a permanent position and endless job insecurity," he said.

"Too often, long-term casual work is used as a mechanism to pay workers less, deprive them of leave, and make them easier to sack."

The proposed legislation would see casual workers employed with the same company for 12 months be allowed to request a permanent part-time or full-time position.

The employee would then have the right to challenge if the request is "unreasonably" denied.

According to Shorten, 59 per cent of casuals have been with their employer for more than 12 months and 192,000 have been working at the same place for more than 10 years.

"While some people like the flexibility that casual work provides, for others it has become a constant worry: never knowing what it’s like to have a paid sick day or paid holiday," he said.

"For these workers it’s tough to pay the rent or the mortgage and the bills, let alone make longer-term decisions like taking out a car loan or buying their own home."

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