The Jargon-Free Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry (SCHADS) Award Summary (MA000100)

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Everything you need to know about the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award, without the jargon.

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The SCHADS Industry Award is a complex and highly specific Modern Award covering key areas such as rest between breaks and hours of work due to the nature of the industry.

Unfortunately, there is the proverbial noose around the neck of SCHADS businesses as there remains limited support from the Fair Work Commission on how best to stay compliant.

This isn’t limited to small and medium companies, major SCHADS organisations such as BaptistCare and Uniting Church have found themselves in hot water in recent years.

This summary provides will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of everything you need to know about the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award.

We also have a separate article explaining the 6 conditions commonly missed in the SCHADS award to ensure you're covered for all the pitfalls.

In addition, you can download a FREE copy of our SCHADS Award eBook that covers everything you need to know about the award, without the jargon which comes with a BONUS payroll processing checklist to avoid undue stress with the Fair Work Commission.

Disclaimer:
Please note that every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this guide is accurate. You should note, however, that the information is intended as a guide only, providing an overview of general information available. This guide is not intended to be an exhaustive source of information and should not be seen to constitute legal or tax advice. You should, where necessary, seek a second professional opinion for any legal or tax issues raised in your business affairs.

 

  • Crisis assistance and supported housing sector
  • Social and community services sector
  • Home care sector
  • Family day care scheme sector.

However, the SCHADS Award doesn’t cover employers and employees who are covered by the following award:


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  1. Full-time employment
  2. Part-time employment
  3. Casual employment

 

Full-Time Employees

To be classified as a full-time employee under the SCHADS Award, you are either:

  • An employee who is engaged to work 38 ordinary hours per week; or
  • Averages 38 hours per week over four weeks; or
  • An employee who is considered full-time at the workplace by the employers despite working less than 38 hours per week

 

Part-Time Employees

To be classified as a part-time employee under the SCHADS Award, you must:

  • Be working fewer than 38 ordinary hours on a reasonably predictable basis; or
  • Have a written agreement that indicates a regular pattern of work but doesn’t necessarily need to provide the same guaranteed number of hours each week

 

Casual Employees

A casual employee is classified as an employee with no guaranteed hours of work or works with irregular patterns under the SCHADS Award.

The casual hourly rate is the same as full-time, and part-time employees plus an additional 25% loading on top of their rate of pay as they don’t receive annual leave and personal/carer’s leave entitlements, redundancy benefits and other entitlements that part-time and full-time employees received.

The minimum number of hours applicable are:  

  • Social and community services employees except when working as a care and disability services worker: 3 hours
  • Home care employees: 1 hour
  • All other employees: 2 hours

 

Right to Request Casual Conversion

A casual employee covered by the SCHADS Award has the right to request that they be converted to full-time or part-time employment if the casual employee is a regular employee, meaning they worked a regular pattern of hours for the 12 months before the request, without significant adjustments.

This request will need to be made in writing, and there should be no reasonable grounds for refusal by the employer unless it includes:

  • Significant changes to their hours of work to become engaged under the new employment type.
  • The position may not exist in the next 12 months.
  • The position may reduce in the number of hours within the next 12 months.
  • Significant changes in working day and times within the next 12 months that don’t suit the employee’s availability

All grounds of refusal should be known or reasonably foreseeable, and the decisions needs to be made within 21 days of the request being received.

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Social and Community Services & Crisis Accommodation Employees

Refer to this pay guide for pay rates under the SCHADS Award.

 

Family Day Care Employees

Refer to this pay guide for pay rates under the SCHADS Award.

 

Home Care Employees

Refer to this pay guide for pay rates under the SCHADS Award.

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Ordinary Hours of Work

Under the SCHADS Award, the ordinary hour per week should be 38 or at least an average of 38 hours per week based on the following conditions:

  • Worked in a week of five days in shifts and not over 8 hours per shift
  • Worked in a fortnight of 76 hours of 10 shifts and not over 8 hours per shift; or
  • In a four week period of 152 hours of 19 shifts, 8 hours per shift

The maximum number of hours per shift can be increased to 10 hours per shift if it’s agreed in writing.

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Span of Hours

 

SCHADS Award Day Worker

Between 6am and 8pm, Monday to Saturday

SCHADS Award Shiftworker

Employees that work hours per the table below are considered shiftworkers under the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award:

Shift Type

Penalty Rate 

(% of Minimum Hourly Rate)

Afternoon shift - shift ends between 8pm and midnight, Monday to Friday

112.5%

Night shift - finishes after midnight or starts before 6am, Monday to Friday

115%

Public holiday shift - any time worked during the public holiday

250%

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All employees except casuals should have no less than two full days off per week or four full days off each fortnight or eight full days in each four-week cycle. These need to be consecutive days off where it’s possible.

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  • Employees should have a rest of no less than 10 consecutive hours between shifts
  • Employees should have a rest of no less than 8 consecutive hours between shifts if their following shift is a sleepover shift
  • Employees should have a rest of no less than 8 consecutive hours from finishing their sleepover shift to the next shift

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7 days’ notice needs to be given for any changes in rosters.

If a client cancels or changes home care services, notice must be given to the employee by 5pm the day before if no payment is to be made. If there’s no notice given, then the employee will be entitled to receiving payment for the hours rostered on that day.

The other alternative is that the employer can direct the employee to make-up the cancelled time in the next fortnight in other areas of the business.

 

Broken Shifts

This only applies to social and community services employees who are working in disability services and home care.

A broken shift is when an employee has one or more breaks (not including their meal break) and the shift is no more than 12 hours.

A minimum of 10 hours between broken shifts on consecutive days must be given.

If the employee works more than 12 hours, double time will be paid.

 

Sleepovers

This is when an employer requires an employee to provide home care services overnight at the client’s home but that isn’t considered a 24-hour care shift:

  • The employee needs to be provided with a separate room with a bed and facilities with the shift being 8 consecutive hours.
  • A sleepover allowance of 4.9% of their standard rate must be paid for each night.
  • They must be paid a minimum overtime rate of 1 hour if they need to work during the sleepover period.
  • If the employer rosters the employee to work immediately before or after the sleepover period, a minimum of 4 hours’ work must be paid.

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24 Hour Care

A 24-hour care shift is when an employee must be available in a client’s home to provide prescribed home care services for a 24 hour period. This shift should go for no more than 8 hours.

The employee must be given the opportunity to sleep during the shift and where appropriate, given a private room with a bed.

They will be paid at 155% of their appropriate rate for each 24 hour period.

 

Excursions

If an employee agrees to take a client on excursion activities that involve staying overnight away from home, the following provisions apply:

  • Monday to Friday Excursions
    • They must be paid for the time worked between 8am to 6pm for a maximum of 10 hours per day
    • Time accrual instead of overtime may be agreed between the employer and employee for any excess hours worked
    • Sleepover allowance must be paid
  • Weekend Excursions
    • If the employee needs to work on Saturday and/or Sunday, they cannot work for more than ten days within that two-week cycle.

 

Saturday & Sunday Work

The following penalty rates apply under the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award for weekend work:

Day

Penalty Rate
(% of minimum pay rates)

Saturday

150%

Sunday

200%


Casual employees should be paid their casual loading in addition to the penalty rates.

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Meal Break

An employee needs to take an unpaid meal break of 30 to 60 minutes if they’ve worked for more than five hours.

If they work through their meal break, they will be paid overtime rates until their meal break is taken.

If the employee needs to have their meal with a client, they will be paid their normal ordinary rates and counted as time worked.

 

Tea Breaks

A 10-minute tea break every 4 hours worked must be given to the employee and counted as time worked.

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Full-Time Employees

Type of Service

Date & Time

Overtime Rate

Day Care, Home Care and Disability Services

Monday to Saturday

First 2 Hours - 150%
Thereafter - 200%

Social and Community Services

Crisis Accommodation

Monday to Saturday

First 3 Hours - 150%
Thereafter - 200%

Day Care, Home Care and Disability Services

Social & Community Services

Crisis Accommodation

Sunday

200%

Day Care, Home Care and Disability Services

Social & Community Services

Crisis Accommodation

Public Holiday

250%

 

Part-Time & Casual Employees

Condition

Overtime Rate

If employees worked more than 38 hours per week or 76 hours per fortnight except for Sundays

First 2 Hours - 150%
Thereafter - 200%

Sunday

200%

Public Holiday

250%

If employees worked more than 10 hours per day

First 2 hours - 150%
Thereafter - 200%

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Time Off Instead of Overtime Payment

An employee and employer can agree for the employee to take time off instead of being paid for overtime worked. There are a few conditions that need to occur:

  • The employee is entitled to taking off the equivalent of the overtime payment. For example, two overtime hours at a penalty rate of 150% would mean 3 hours off for the employee rather than 2 hours.
  • The time taken off must occur within three months from the time the overtime was worked unless agreed between the employee and employer. If there is no agreement, then the employee needs to pay the overtime in the first pay cycle after the three months.
  • The employer will need to immediately pay the overtime if the employee decides to request this.

 

Rest Period After Overtime

For all employees except casuals, a minimum of 10 consecutive hours off between shifts without loss of pay is required under the SCHADS Award.

If the employee works without ten consecutive hours off, they will be paid at 200% until they finish their shift. They will then need ten consecutive hours off duty without loss of pay.

 

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.

 

Rest Break During Overtime

If your employee has been recalled to work overtime and works more than 4 hours, they must have a 20-minute meal break and another 20-minute break for each subsequent 5 hours’ overtime. All of these breaks must be counted as time worked, and the meals must be free of charge.

 

Higher Duties

For home care employees who are carrying out work with higher wage rates, they must be paid at the higher wage rate:

  • If they worked two hours or less, they need to be paid for the time worked.
  • If they worked more than two hours, they must be paid a full day or shift.

If the employee has worked five consecutive days or more at a higher classification, they must be paid at the minimum rate based on the classification they worked.

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Progression

When an employee has reached 12 months’ continuous employment, they’ll be eligible for progression from one pay point to the next if they are deemed competent and satisfactory in performance during this period.

Refer to the SCHADS Award pay guide for each pay point.

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  1. Clothing & Equipment Allowance: paid to employees if uniforms are not supplied by the employer
  2. Laundry Allowance: paid to employees if uniforms are not laundered by the employer free of charge
  3. Meal Allowance: paid to an employee if they work at least an hour of overtime
  4. First Aid Allowance: paid to an employee that’s first aid qualified and expected to perform first-aid duties on shift
    1. Full-time employees
    2. Part-time or casual employees
  5. Travelling, Transport & Fares Allowance: paid to employees that need to use their own vehicles to perform their duties
  6. Heat Allowance: paid to employees that need to work more than one hour in artificially raised temperatures in the below range:
    1. 40°C - 46°C
    2. Over 46°C
  7. On-Call Allowance: paid to employees that are required to be on call

Search our database for all relevant allowances to the various modern awards.

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A rate of 9.5% of an employee’s ordinary earnings must be contributed.

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Under the SCHADS Award, a rate of 17.5% leave loading on top of their annual leave is applied when an employee takes paid time off.

Employees must be paid the higher of:

  1. An annual leave loading of 17.5% of their ordinary pay rate; or
  2. The weekend and shift penalties the employee would have received if they weren’t on leave during that period.

Example:

If a full-time employee applies for leave between Thursday this week and Wednesday next week, he or she would typically work 8 hours of shiftwork on a Saturday too.

The employer must calculate 38 hours, including a 17.5% leave loading and compare with how much the employee will typically receive if they had been paid working across that period with the Saturday penalty rates.

Whichever of the two calculations is higher is how much the employee should be paid across that period of time, not for individual days.

The idea is so that the employee is protected from being paid less for going on paid annual leave.

Note: Shiftworkers are entitled to 5 weeks of paid annual leave if they are available seven days a week and regularly rostered to work on Sundays and public holidays.

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All public holiday entitlements are per the National Employment Standards (NES) and the penalty rates outlined in the table above.

All public holidays are to be paid 250% of their ordinary pay rate except for casual employees who are paid 275% of their ordinary pay rate (inclusive of casual loading).

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We've created a separate article that explains the 6 conditions commonly missed in the SCHADS award that you should know to avoid getting you and your business into trouble.

You can also download a FREE copy of our SCHADS Award eBook with a BONUS payroll processing checklist to ensure you maximise your payroll compliance and avoid any undue stress with the Fair Work Ombudsman. 

If this is all too much trouble and you'd rather automate the process like many of our clients, you can make the shift over to cloud payroll by engaging us to help you to transition from a manual to a cloud system seamlessly.

Here’s how cloud payroll works:

    1. Time and Attendance
      Employees clock their time using an integrated time and attendance system that syncs all data with your cloud payroll software.
    2. Live Timesheet Approval
      No more manually entries or paper timesheet approvals. Supervisors and managers approve time and attendance on the go directly on the cloud payroll software.
    3. Automated Modern Awards Compliance
      A collection of “rules” based on the SCHADS Industry Award are implemented into your cloud payroll software that automatically calculate pay conditions (penalties, allowances, shift work, and more).
    4. Automated Payslips
      Payslips are automatically generated that comply with the SCHADS Award.

Payroll Complete In Under an Hour
Never get it wrong. No back pay calculations. No inefficient manual interpretation. No data re-entry. Stress free pay days that take less than an hour to complete!

We also offer an automated time and attendance solution called NoahFace which captures the start and end of shift times using an iPad or the NoahFace Go phone app. The data is synchronised with your payroll system, making payroll a breeze and compliance guaranteed!

If you’re interested in moving from a manual payroll system to an automated cloud payroll system, get in touch with us today for a free demo.

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