New & proposed changes to the SCHADS Award

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has released a decision on Tranche 2 substantive claims raised through the review of the SCHADS Award. The most recent FWC review took place in June 2021, and another SCHADS review will be conducted later in the year. This blog outlines what changes have recently come into effect, and which ones are provisional (under review) and are not yet in place.


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 https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/awardsandorders/html/pr729360.htm


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


SCHADS Award Proposed Changes Update

Last update: 25 June 2021


Currently, a date has not been set for the following proposed changes to come into effect as they are still under review, however, it is likely that this will occur later in the year.


Minimum Payment Periods

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

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

  • All other employees (disability work; work in the crisis assistance and supported housing sector and employees in family daycare) 2hrs

  • 2hr minimum payment to apply to each part of broken shift


Broken Shifts & Broken Shift Allowance

Definition of broken shift:

  • Shift having 2 separate periods with a single ‘break’ (other than a meal break)

  • An occasional broken shift that has more than 1 unpaid break is subject to:

  1. Maximum of 2 ‘breaks’ in the shift

  2. The agreement of employee, and

  3. Additional payment

Broken Shift Allowance (provisional view):

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

  • 2 ‘breaks’ - 2.5% of the standard rate ($25.15 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.

Provisional view:

  • Remote response work done between 6am-10pm incurs 30 minutes minimum payment

  • Remote response work done between 10pm-9am incurs 1hr minimum payment


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 (provisional view):

  • Reimbursement of reasonable costs associated with cleaning or replacement of personal clothing which has been damaged or stained during course of employee’s work

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

  • 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

  2. Double time pay for anything more than 2 hours

  • 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.

  • For shift workers :

  1. Where employee works a minimum of 8 24-hour care shifts per year OR

  2. works more than 4 hours on a minimum of 10 weekends, they are entitled to an extra week of annual leave.

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.