SCHADS Award - The Updates and Changes

As noted in our earlier blog, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) released a decision on

Tranche 2 substantive claims were raised through the review of the SCHADS Award in June 2021.


Since then, there has been a review undertaken in August and October, with some changes from the October decision being reflected in the SCHADS awards as of June 2022. There will be another decision in relation to SCHADS as submissions closed on 12th of November 2021.


SCHADS Award New Changes

Following the Annual Wage Review 2021, the FWC announced a 2.5% increase to the

national minimum wage and all Award wages. The increase to Award wages is happening in 3 stages, commencing from 1 July 2021. The FWC has also issued decisions to change some terms and conditions in several awards. See here


To determine pay for casuals, the hourly pay is usually 1/38 of the weekly pay plus 25% casual loading [see clause 10.4 of SCHADS Award].


SCHADS Award Proposed Changes Update

Last update: 18 October 2021


Currently, a date has been set for some of the following proposed changes to come into effect.


Minimum Payment Periods

An introduction of a minimum payment period for part-time employees and casual

employees) to be paid. These minimum payment periods will be transitional from 1 February 2022 and come into effect from 1 July 2022.

  • 3hrs - Social and community services employees (excl. disability.)

  • 2hrs - All other employees covered under SCHADS

  • 2hrs minimum payment to apply to each part of a broken shift

Also, a minimum hourly rate is to be included (as minimum weekly pay divided by 38).


Broken Shifts and Broken Shift Allowance

It is noted that Broken Shifts are only allowed to employees that undertake disability services and home care. The award defines ‘broken shift’ as either:

  • A shift having 2 separate periods with a single ‘break’ (other than a meal

break)

  • A shift of 3 separate periods of work with 2 unpaid ‘breaks’ (other than a meal

break). This is subject to:

  1. The agreement of employee, and

  2. Additional payment

Broken Shift Allowance

  • 1 ‘break’ - 1.7% of the standard rate per broken shift ($17.10 per broken shift)

  • 2 ‘breaks’ - 2.25% of the standard rate ($23.20 per broken shift).

  • Day worker who is working outside normal hours (including part of work in broken shift) is entitled to overtime

Travel Time

It is proposed that accepted employees should be compensated for travel between clients


Roster Changes

It is proposed that there is merit in allowing the employer and employee to

mutually agree on variation to the roster, where the variation is proposed by

the employee to agree to swap shifts with another worker


Remote Response / Recall to Work Overtime

It has been agreed by both employer groups and unions that there needs to be a provision

addressing work being performed by employees outside their usual working hours and

location where they are based. This includes:

  • Responding to calls, messages and emails.

  • Should include a mechanism for ensuring time spent working remotely is recorded and communicated to the employer.

Payments for Remote work:

  • Remote response work done between 6am-10pm - 15 minutes minimum payment

  • Remote response work done between 10pm-9am - 30 minutes minimum payment

  • Remote response work where not on call - 1 hour minimum payment

  • Remote work involving participating in staff meetings/training - 1 hour minimum payment

Rates for Remote Work

The only circumstances where remote work is not paid at the employee’s minimum hourly

rate is:

  • Where it is performed outside of 6am-8pm

  1. Permanent employees will be entitled to 150% of their minimum hourly rate for the first 2 hours and 200% afterwards

  2. Casual employees will be entitled to 175% of their minimum hourly rate for the first 2 hours and 225% afterwards

  • Where it is in excess of 38 hours a week or 76 hours a fortnight  paid overtime rates

  • Where remote work is in excess of 10 hours a day

  1. Permanent employees will be entitled to 150% of their minimum hourly rate for the first 2 hours and 200% afterwards

  2. Casual employees will be entitled to 175% of their minimum hourly rate for the first 2 hours and 225% afterwards

  • Remote work on weekends to be paid at penalty rates.

On-Call Allowance

Where an employee is required to be on call by the employer (that is being available to be on duty at the employer/client’s premises AND/OR remote work), they will be paid an allowance of:

  • 2% of standard rate ($20.63) for any part of or a 24 hour period in Monday-Friday time frame for completing ‘ordinary duties’

  • 3.96% of standard rate ($40.84) for any part of or a 24 hour period on Saturday-Sunday or on a public holiday

Client Cancellation (provisional view)

Cancellation of a shift with a minimum 12 hours’ notice allows for a make-up

shift within 6 weeks of cancelled shift


Clothing and Equipment

It has been found that employees are entitled to reimbursement of reasonable costs associated with cleaning or replacement of personal clothing which has been damaged or stained during the course of employee’s work

  • Notify their employer of the ‘soiling’ as soon as possible AND if requested provide evidence of ‘soiling’ and/or how it happened, AND;

  • Comply with reasonable requirements of employer to wear PPE that is provided or paid for by employer, AND;

  • Damage or ‘soiling of employees clothing was not caused through an employee’s negligent conduct.

Also, employees are to be paid an allowance of 32 cents per shift where their personal clothing has been ‘soiled’ during course of employee’s work. For this to happen, they must:

  • Notify their employer of the ‘soiling’ as soon as possible AND if requested provide evidence of ‘soiling’ and/or how it happened, AND;

  • Comply with reasonable requirements of employer to wear PPE that is provided or paid for by employer

It is noted that such allowances and reimbursements are not to occur if the employee has been provided with a work uniform.


Overtime for Part-Time Employees

Establishment of a mechanism where employees who regularly work extra hours can request an annual review of their guaranteed hours, in which an employer cannot refuse


24 Hour Care

This provision only applies to Home Care employees. It is noted that:

  • The employer can only require an employee to work a 24 hour care shift if the employee agrees to work the shift

  • If an employee is required to perform more than 8 hours work in a 24 hour period, they are entitled to overtime at:

  1. 1.5 times pay for first 2 hours (except on Sundays where they will be entitled to double-time pay and public holidays being 2.5 times normal pay)

  2. Double time pay for anything more than 2 hours (except on Public holidays where they will be entitled to 2.5 times normal pay

  • An employee is guaranteed an opportunity:

  1. to sleep for a continuous 8 hours and to be provided:

  2. a separate room with a bed and clean linen

  3. use of appropriate facilities (not limited to food preparation areas where existing)

  4. accommodation to be free of rent/board for each night the employee sleeps over

  • Sleepover allowance

  1. Payment for 8 hours of work at 155% of the appropriate rate per 24 hours

  • Employees can refuse to work more than 8 hours’ worth of work in 24-hour care where additional hours are unreasonable.

Shift Workers and Annual Leave

Shift workers are entitled to an additional week of an annual leave if:

  • they work a minimum of 8 24-hour care shifts per year OR

  • they work more than 4 hours on a minimum of 10 weekends,

If you have further questions regarding these changes or any changes regarding Award compliance or interpretation, please contact us at Karen Ansen Consulting at enquiries@karenansen.com.