aged care home

IMPORTANT CHANGES TO THE SCHADS AWARD TO BE ACROSS

Recently the Fair Work Commission (FWC) reviewed and amended the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 (SCHADS award) that were needed to ensure a fair and relevant minimum safety net for employees in these industries. These changes came into effect as of 1 July 2022.

Read on to get a summary of these changes, how they may affect your business and some proposed next steps! 

SUMMARY OF CHANGES

There have been changes introduced across the following sections of the SCHADS award: 

  • Changes to minimum engagement for some casuals and part time employees
  • Consultation requirements for different agreements
  • Details of how the minimum payment operates:
    • Broken shifts and broken allowances
    • Client cancellation
    • Travelling between clients
    • Shift locations
  • Damaged clothing and laundry allowances
  • Overtime for part time and casuals
  • Enterprise Agreements
  • Remote Work
  • Guaranteed Hours

The sections below expand on each of these changes and what they mean practically.

CHANGES TO MINIMUM PAYMENTS

Under the new changes, for select casual employees the minimum engagement increases from the previous 1 hour to 2 hours. Similarly, for part time employees where there was once no minimum engagement, they are now entitled to be paid the following minimum hours for each shift. Specifically:

  • The new minimum payment for part-time social and community services employees (except when doing disability services work) is now for 3 hours
  • Part-time social and community services employees doing disability services work minimum engagement is for 2 hours

These changes to the minimum engagement also applies to each period of work in a broken shift. The broken shift allowance and hours will differ depending on the numbers of unpaid breaks taken and the agreement between the employer and employee.

how the new minimum payments work

Client cancellation

When a service is cancelled, the employer can either direct the employee to perform other work during those hours, cancel the whole shift, or cancel the affected part of the shift.

If a shift is cancelled, the employer must:

  • Pay the employee the amount they would have been paid if they had worked; or
  • Provide the employee with make-up time (same hours).

 

Make-up time

If an employer elects for the employee to make-up the time it comes with the following requirements:

  • 12 hours notice of cancellation of the original shift, or employee must be paid for the original hours.
  • 7 days’ notice for the new shift unless otherwise agreed between employee and employer.
  • Make-up time must be within 6 weeks of the cancelled service and it can be with other clients or other business areas so long as the employee has the relevant skills.
 
Travelling between clients & SHIFT LOCATIONS

For part-time & casual employees, the time spent travelling between clients during the relevant minimum payment period is counted as time worked and paid.

Travel time applies once per period of work for employees who work at multiple locations & the minimum payment requirement applies here. For further information the SCHADS award travel provisions still apply.

Shifts do not need to be worked in a single location or with a single client. Regardless of location the minimum engagement applies once per period of work.

Damaged clothing and laundry allowances

Employees are required to cover reasonable costs associated with repairing or replacing personal clothing, even where personal clothing is soiled or damaged beyond repair while the employee is performing their duties. There may be some instances where the laundry allowance may be payable for soiled clothing. For further information, the SCHADS award uniform provisions still apply.

Overtime for part time and casuals

In relation to time worked outside the span of hours, casual and part time employees are entitled to overtime paid at 150% for the first 2 hours, 200% thereafter from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, all overtime is to be paid at 200%.

Remote Work

Remote work (work that is performed outside of rostered ordinary hours/designated shift times, work that is not additional hours or work that is not required to be performed in the designated workplace) performed from 6am-8pm is paid at minimum hourly rate of pay, unless it attracts penalty rates (i.e. Sat, Sun, overtime, public holiday). The stipulated penalty rates for remote work apply in these situations instead of the usual rate for penalties/loadings.

Minimum payment for performing remote work is:

  • 15 mins when employee on call from 6am-10pm;
  • 30 mins when employee on call from 10pm-6am;
  • 1 hr when employee required to work & not on call; and
  • 1 hr when participating remotely in team meetings or trainings.

Any time worked continuously beyond the minimum payments is rounded up to the nearest 15 minutes.

When an employee works remotely multiple times in a day, minimum payment applies on each occasion. However, only one minimum payment must be paid where an employee works multiple times in a minimum payment period.

Guaranteed hours

Where part-time employees have worked beyond their guaranteed minimum hours for at least 12 months, they are entitled to request an amendment to their employment agreement to increase their minimum contracted hours. Where this occurs, employers must respond within 21 days of this request.

CONSULTATION REQUIREMENTS FOR DIFFERENT AGREEMENTS

With any agreements relating to work shifts, made before 1 February 2020, that contain less than the new minimum payments, the employee and employer must discuss the new minimum payment requirements and genuinely try to reach an agreement of a variation to the employee’s current work hours that meets the new minimum payment changes and suits the employees’ circumstances.

Consultation requirements don’t stop employers and employees from agreeing to other changes to the agreement that are consistent with award provisions.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?

For businesses without an enterprise agreement in place (EA) the changes are directly applicable for you. For those who have an EA or are in the middle of bargaining for an enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA), there’s quite a bit to consider in relation to these new changes that are dependent on details of your current agreement/current stage of bargaining. The Workplace Wizards team has significant experience with EAs & the EBA process, and we can help provide expert assistance to help you based on the situation you’re currently in – we highly recommend you reach out to us ASAP to chat to one of our consultants today.

NEXT STEPS

The SCHADS award is one of the most difficult awards to navigate, due to its wide scope and many complexities, and even more so when considering the unique situations of businesses within this industry. Understanding and applying the changes can seem like a challenging task but we can help – if you’d like some help understanding your new obligations and ensuring that you’re meeting them, please call Workplace Wizards on 03 9087 6949 or email us at support@workplacewizards.com.au.

We can help you better understand the new changes, how it applies to your business, and what your company should be doing to maintain its obligations, while answering any questions you may have.

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