Further to our previous blog on changes to the SCHADS Award, the Fair Work Commission has made some final decisions that could have some implications for your organisation. These changes are in addition to the changes outlined in our last blog.
Definition of a Part-time Employee & ‘Guaranteed Hours’
The SCHADS Award identifies part-time employees as one who are either: engaged in working less than 38 hours a week, or; work an average of fewer than 38 hours a week and have ‘reasonably predictable hours of work. Further to this, there must be an agreement between the employee and employer on a ‘regular pattern’ of work including the number of ‘ordinary’ hours to be worked each week (also known as ‘guaranteed hours’), and; the days of the week the employee will be working as well
as the starting and finishing times.
When it comes to ‘guaranteed hours’, it is noted that an employer must not require employees to work additional hours that are more than the employee's‘ guaranteed hours’. However, employees can work additional hours if they agree to do so. Furthermore, if a part-time employee has worked on a regular basis for more than 12 months, they can request to have their ‘guaranteed hours’ increased. This requires an employer to respond to the request within 3 weeks and can only be refused on ‘reasonable business grounds'. It is crucial that prior to refusing an employee’s request for additional ‘guaranteed hours, the employer must discuss the request with the employee and genuinely come to an agreement on increasing the employee’s ‘guaranteed hours’.
It has been confirmed that rosters can be changed at any time provided that it is to swap a shift with another employee, provided they agree to the changes, or; where another employee is sick or in an emergency and the service is required.
Client Cancellations & ‘Make-Up Time’
The Fair Work Commission has come to the view that the provision around client cancellation applies to part- and full-time employees working in-home care or disability services where they were rostered within 7 days of the schedule to provide service. This definition of client cancellation includes rescheduling scheduled support.
There are multiple options available to employees if there is a client cancellation. One option involves the employer directing the employee to other work in which they would be paid at a higher amount of either: the cancelled shift’s duration, or; the work being performed in lieu of the cancelled shift. Another option involves cancelling the affected shift in question and either: paying the employee the
amount they would’ve earned had the shift not been cancelled, or; providing ‘makeup’ time for the employee. ‘Makeup’ time would only be allowed if the employee received a minimum of 12 hours notice of the shift’s cancellation in which the employer must give the employee a minimum notice of a week (or less, if the employee agrees), as well as the ‘, make up’ shift being performed within 6 weeks of the cancelled shift. Of importance to the ‘makeup’ shift provision, the employee must be paid the greater of: the amount payable had the employee performed the initial cancelled shift, or; the amount payable from the ’make up’ shift is performed.
Further to our previous blog in relation to ‘broken shift’ under the SCHADS Award, it is noted that the span in which a broken shift can be performed is 12 hours, with a greater span requiring employees to be paid double time. Also, an employee must receive a minimum 10 hours break between broken shifts rostered on successive days.
In relation to overtime pay for additional hours of work, the following applies to full-time employees:
disability services/home care/daycare employees – 1.5 hours for the first 2 hours from Monday-Saturday and double time in excess of 2 hours;
social and community services/crisis accommodation employees – 1.5 hours for the first 3 hours from Monday-Saturday and double time in excess of 3 hours;
Overtime on a Sunday will be double time and 2.5 on a public holiday
In addition to this, there are overtime rates for part-time and casual employees, namely:
Working in excess of 38 hours/week or 76 hours/fortnight on Monday-Saturday will be paid at a time and a half for the first 2 hours and double time afterwards
Working in excess of 38 hours/week or 76 hours/fortnight on Sunday will be paid at double time and 2.5 times on public holidays
Working in excess of 10 hours a day from Monday-Saturday will be paid at time and a half
Working in excess of 10 hours a day on Sunday will be paid at double time and 2.5 times on public holidays
If you require support or advice regarding these changes or any changes
regarding Award compliance or interpretation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.