In February 2022, we provided an introduction of the significant changes to the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Award 2010. Further to that post, we are reminding subscribers that these changes come into operation from 1 July 2022 and take effect from the first full pay period that starts on or after 1 July 2022.
In a nutshell, the following provisions in the SCHADS Award will change:
- Clause 10: Types of employment
- Clause 15: Minimum weekly wages for the social and community services employees and crisis accommodation employees
- Clause 20: Allowances
- Clause 25: Ordinary hours of work and rostering
- Clause 28: Overtime
- Clause 29: Shiftwork
- Clause 31: Annual leave
These changes are explained in detail below
Clause 10: Types of employment
Minimum payments for some casuals
From the first pay period starting on or after 1 July 2022, the minimum payment for casual home care employees increases from 1 hour to 2 hours. Casual employees can work for more than one client during their minimum payment period.
Minimum payments for part-time employees
From the first pay period starting on or after 1 July 2022, part-time employees will need to be paid for the following minimum hours for each shift or work period in a broken shift:
- social and community services employees (except when doing disability services work) – 3 hours
- social and community services employees doing disability services work – 2 hours
- all other employees – 2 hours.
The requirement to be paid for these minimum number of hours is called a ‘minimum payment’.
Part-time employees can work for more than one client during their minimum payment period.
This is a new entitlement for part-time employees. Until 1 July 2022, there is no minimum payment for part-time employees under the SCHADS Award.
Transitional arrangements and Consultation requirements applying to minimum payments for part-time employees
Transitional arrangements apply from 1 February 2022 until 1 October 2022 for the above newly introduced minimum payment requirements for part-time employees. However, the transitional arrangements will only apply to part-time agreements which were entered into before 1 February 2022 and provide for shifts or periods of work in broken shifts of less than the hours specified in the new minimum payment requirements.
Employers must consult with their impacted part-time employees to:
- discuss the new minimum payment requirements
- genuinely try to reach an agreement on a variation to the employee’s current hours of work that’s consistent with the new minimum payments and suits the employee’s circumstances.
If an employer and employee have discussed the agreement but can’t agree on a change, the employer can vary the agreement to meet the new minimum payments by giving the employee 42 days’ written notice of the change. This variation cannot start before 1 July 2022.
These consultation requirements do not stop an employer and an employee from agreeing to other changes to the agreement that are consistent with award provisions.
Right for part-time employees to request to increase their part-time hours
The new provisions allow that where a part-time employee has worked more than their guaranteed hours for at least 12 months, the employee has a right to request an increase in their guaranteed hours, which can only be refused by an employer on reasonable business grounds. However, there are no changes to when overtime rates kick in for part-time employees.
Clause 15: Minimum weekly wages for the social and community services employees and crisis accommodation employees
Following the Fair Work Commission’s Equal remuneration order, clause 15 will provide the final rates of pay for Social and Community Services employees and Crisis Accommodation employees.
Clause 20: Allowances
Two new provisions will be introduced for employers to cover the reasonable costs associated with the cleaning or replacement of personal clothing which has been soiled or damaged in the course of employment.
Changes to allowance relating to the laundering of clothing other than uniforms
If an employee’s clothing (other than a uniform) is soiled in the course of duty, they will be entitled to this allowance. There are, however, certain conditions that need to be met, including that the employee:
- must advise the employer of the soiling as soon as practical and, if required, provide evidence; and
- must have also complied with relevant PPE requirements at the time of soiling to receive the allowance/
The allowance is $0.32 per shift.
Introduction of a new allowance for the Repair and Replacement of clothing other than uniforms
If an employee’s clothing (other than when the employer provides a uniform) is damaged (excluding normal wear and tear) to the extent of requiring repair or full replacement while performing duties, the employer must reimburse the employee for the reasonable cost incurred in repairing or replacing the clothing.
However, the same conditions that apply to the laundering allowance apply here:
- the employee must advise the employer of the damage or soiling as soon as possible if required, provide evidence of the damage;
- they must have complied with relevant PPE requirements at the time of the damage; and
- to be eligible for the allowance, the damage or soiling must not have been caused by the employee’s negligence.
On call allowance
The existing on call allowance clause will be varied to clarify that it is payable to an employee required to be available for recall to duty not only at the employer’s or client’s premises, but also for remote work. Furthermore, the Commission has retained existing wording to confirm that Friday evening periods or Monday morning periods are not excluded from the application of the on-call allowance. The payment is 2% of the standard rate during on-call hours on weekdays and 3.96% for weekends or public holidays.
Broken shift allowance
The award changes introduce 2 broken shift allowances for social and community services employees when undertaking disability services work and home care employees.
The existing broken shifts clause will be varied to:
- limit the use of broken shifts to a maximum of two portions of work (and one unpaid break) or, by agreement with an individual employee, a maximum of three portions of work (and two unpaid breaks in between); and
- make it clear that the minimum engagement period (or minimum payment) will apply for each portion of work in a broken shift.
A broken shift allowance will be introduced to compensate employees for the disutility associated with performing broken shifts. The broken shift allowance will be:
- 1.7% of the standard rate ($17.53) for broken shifts involving one unpaid break (two portions of work), and
- 2.25% of the standard rate ($23.20) where the broken shift involves two unpaid breaks (three portions of work).
In addition, each employee must be paid a shift allowance depending on what type of shift they work (e.g., afternoon, night, or public holiday shift).
Clause 25: Ordinary hours of work and rostering
Change in roster
The new changes will allow for rosters to be changed at any time where the change is proposed by an employee to accommodate an agreed shift swap with another employee, subject to the agreement of the employer.
The existing client cancellation clause will be varied to also apply to employers and permanent employees in the disability services stream (no longer home care stream only). The client cancellation provision would apply where a client cancels or reschedules a scheduled service with less than 7 days’ notice. Employers would be allowed to either:
- (a) find an equivalent shift for the worker by redeploying the employee to perform other work during those hours in which they were rostered,
- (b) cancel the rostered shift of the affected part of the shift.
Where (a) applies, the permanent employee would be entitled to payment for the amount payable had the employee performed the cancelled or rescheduled service or the amount payable in respect of the work actually performed, whichever is greater.
Where (b) applies, the employer must either pay the permanent employee the amount they would have received had the shift or part of the shift not been cancelled, or provide the employee with make-up time. For the latter to apply, the employee needs to be notified of the cancelled shift (or part thereof) at least 12 hours prior to the commencement of the scheduled service. If less than 12 hours’ notice is provided, the employer must provide the employee with 7 days’ notice of the make-up time unless otherwise agreed.
Other items to note in relation to make-up time include:
- the make-up time must be worked within 6 weeks of the date of the cancelled or rescheduled service;
- employers must comply with consultation obligations about changes to rosters or hours of work regarding when the make-up time is to be worked;
- make-up time can include work with other clients or in other areas of the employer’s business provided the employee has the skill and competence to perform the work; and
- an employee who works make-up time will be paid the amount payable had the employee performed the cancelled (or rescheduled) service or the amount payable in respect of the work actually performed, whichever is the greater.
A very minor amendment to the existing sleepover clause will be amended to include the wording ‘access to food preparation facilities’ to ensure employees are entitled to basic facilities during a sleepover shift.
The existing 24-hour care clause will be amended to:
- only require employees to perform 24-hour care shifts by agreement;
- make it clear that employees will be given the opportunity to sleep for a continuous period of 8 hours during a 24-hour care shift;
- entitle employees to basic facilities; and
- make it clear that where an employee performs more than 8 hours’ work during a 24-hour care shift, that additional work will trigger overtime payments at 150% for the first 2 hours and 200% thereafter except on Sundays and Public Holidays.
Remote work: Working outside of hours
Under the changes, a new remote work clause will be introduced where an employee is required by their employer to perform remote work. The definition of remote work means the performance of work by an employee at the direction of (or with the authorisation of) their employer that is:
- (i) beyond their ordinary hours of work rostered under clause 25.5 (or, in the case of casual employees, not a designated shift); and
- (ii) not additional hours worked by a part-time employee under clause 28.1(b)(iii) or 10.3(e) or overtime contiguous with a rostered shift; and
- (iii) not required to be performed at a designated workplace.
Employees performing remote work receive minimum payments and other rates depending on the time of day they work. The primary minimum payments when it comes to remote work are as follows:
- 15 minutes when on call between 6.00 am and 10.00 pm
- 30 minutes when on call between 10.00 pm and 6.00 am
- 1 hour pay when an employee is not on call
- 1 hour pay when remote work involves staff meetings or training.
Any time worked continuously beyond the minimum hours paid will be rounded to the nearest 15 minutes. For example, if an employee works for 1 hour and 5 minutes, they’ll get paid for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
If an employee works multiple instances of remote work in a day, separate minimum payments will be made for each instance.
If an employee works multiple instances within the same period, only one minimum payment period will apply.
Example if an employee who is on-call works 3 instances at 7:00am – 7:05am, 8:30am – 8:45am and 10pm – 10:10pm, they will be paid 15 minutes for the morning and 30 minutes for the evening instance. However, if they work 3 instances at 10:00pm – 10:05pm, 10:15pm – 10:20pm and 10:25 – 10:28pm, they will be paid for 30 minutes only.
Remote work will be paid at an employees’ minimum hourly rate unless one for the following exceptions applies:
|Full-time and Part-time
First 2 hours
|Full-time and Part-time
After first 2 hours
First 2 hours
First 2 hours
|The remote work is performed outside the span of 6am to 8pm||150%||200%||175%||225%|
|The remote work is performed in excess of 38 hours a week or 76 hours per fortnight (i.e overtime will apply)||Overtime provision clause 28||Overtime provision clause 28||Overtime provision clause 28||Overtime provision clause 28|
|The remote work is performed in excess of 10 hours per day||150%||200%||175%||225%|
|Remote work is performed on a Saturday||150%||150%||175%||175%|
|Remote work is performed on a Sunday||200%||200%||225%||225%|
|Remote work is performed on a public holiday||250%||205%||275%||275%|
Employees who perform remote work must maintain and provide the employer a time sheet or other record acceptable to the employer with specific information including:
- When the work commenced and ended
- A description of the work performed
They must provide this information within a reasonable period of time after the remote work is performed.
Remote work does not count as work or overtime when calculating time connected to Award provisions relating to rostered days off, rest breaks between rostered work, rest periods after overtime or rest break during overtime.
Clause 28: Overtime
The changes will include all time worked outside the normal span of hours i.e 6am to 8pm Monday to Sunday (Day Workers) in the overtime rates for part-time and casual employees. This includes split shifts whose part of a period of work is outside the normal span of hours.
Recall to Work Overtime
A minimum of 2 hours’ work is to be paid if an employee is recalled to work overtime after leaving the work premises. And if the work is completed in less than two hours, they should be released from duty but still paid for two hours of work.
Clause 29: Shift work
Shifts are to be worked in one continuous block of hours that may include meal breaks and sleepovers, except where broken in accordance with the new broken shift provisions.
Clause 31: Annual leave
Quantum of leave
The existing quantum of leave clause will be amended to include in the definition of shift worker an employee who performs at least eight (8) 24-hour care shifts during the year, and as such will be entitled to one additional week of annual leave.
A link to the complete decision of the FWC is here: 4 yearly review of the SCHADS Award, 31 January 2022 [PR737905]
How can your organisation plan for these changes?
We encourage all our subscribers in this sector to comprehensively review the impact of these changes on their organisation and to make strategic plans to ensure they are legally compliant with financially sustainable employment and operational arrangements. Also ensure that your payroll processes are compliant with the latest changes to the Award.
Do not hesitate to the BetterHR Advice Team if you require advice on how these changes impact your organisation.