Modern awards are subject to regular reviews to ensure that they remain relevant and up-to-date. Every four years, a panel of experts and other stakeholders are convened to consider any suggested improvements or changes.
This year (2022), the Social, Community, Home Care, and Disability Services (SCHADS) Award will undergo a review. The process provides an opportunity for those who are directly affected by the award to have their say on how it could be improved.
It is also a chance for the award to keep pace with changing circumstances and ensure that it continues to meet the needs of those it covers.
While the changes are only set to be effective from 1 July 2022, you should take this time to familiarise yourself with the new determinations so that you can implement them from the start of the new financial year.
Here’s what you need to know.
What Key SCHADS Award Changes Should You Be Aware Of?
The Social, Community, Home Care, and Disability Services Award (SCHADS) is the modern Award that covers social and community services, disability services, and home care workers
The current SCHADS Award commenced on 1 July 2010. But a number of key changes to the SCHADS Award have since been made and will be effective from 1 July 2022.
These changes will affect the following clauses:
- Clause 10: Types of employment
- Clause 20: Allowances
- Clause 25: Ordinary hours of work and rostering
- Clause 31: Annual leave
Changes to the Minimum Engagement Period for Part-Time Employees
Previously, a minimum engagement period (i.e. the minimum number of hours per shift) only applied to casual employees under the SCHADS Award. However, a minimum engagement period now applies to part-time employees.
The engagement is now three hours for social and community services employees (except when undertaking disability services work) and two hours for all other employees.
The amendment also applies to periods of work that form part of broken shifts.
Lastly, part-time employees who have worked beyond their guaranteed minimum hours for at least 12 months will be able to request an amendment to their employment agreement to increase their minimum contracted hours.
What Do You Do Now?
Start consulting with your part-time employees to reach an agreement to vary existing hours to account for the new minimum engagement period. This way, the transition will be a smooth one when the changes come into effect on 1 July 2022.
And if a part-time employee makes a request to increase their guaranteed hours of work, ensure that you respond within 21 days.
Broken Shifts: Agreements and Loading Rates
Susan, a support worker in the social and community services sector, is rostered to work a shift on Wednesday, but the shift is broken up as follows:
Her first shift is between 12.30 pm and 16.30 pm.
Her second shift starts at 19.00 pm and 23.00 pm.
According to the new determinations, broken shifts are now classified into two different sections. An employer and employee can agree for the employee to work broken shifts of three periods, or otherwise, the employer can roster the employee for a broken shift of two periods, similar to the above example.
In other words, you can still roster a SCHADS worker for a broken shift of two periods of work (with one unpaid break), but you will have to request permission to do so if you want to schedule them for three periods of work (with two unpaid breaks).
This only applies to social and community services employees for disability services work and home care.
Different allowances will now also be introduced for each of these scenarios. Employees working a two-period broken shift must be paid at 1.7% of the standard rate. And employees working a three-period broken shift must be paid at 2.25% of the standard rate.
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).
Allowances: Laundering, Repair, and On-Call
You’ll need to ensure that you review your pay rates using the updated pay rate schedules once they are available (after 1 July 2022), as the advised allowances may affect your staff’s pay rates.
Changes to the Laundering Allowance
If an employee’s clothing (other than a uniform) is soiled in the course of duty, they’ll be entitled to this allowance. There are, however, certain conditions, 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 cents per shift.
New Allowance: Repair Allowance
If an employee’s clothing (other than a provided 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.
Changes to the On-Call Allowance
An on-call allowance of 2% of the standard rate during on-call hours on weekdays and 3.96% for weekends or public holidays is paid to employees that are required to be on call. An on-call allowance now applies to employees who are available for recall to duty at the employer’s or client’s premises and/or for remote work.
Working Outside of Normal Work Hours: Changes and Additions
Remote work applies where an employer directs or authorises an employee to perform additional hours away from their designated workplace. In other words, it is basically work that is performed outside of the workplace, like at home.
Employees performing remote work receive minimum payments and other rates depending on the time of day they work, in lieu of any other penalties and overtime. There are two primary minimum payments when it comes to remote work, depending on what period the remote work is being performed:
- 15 minutes between 6.00 am and 10.00 pm.
- 30 minutes between 10.00 pm and 6.00 am.
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 is not on call, the employer is required to pay them a minimum of one hour’s pay. And if the remote work involves staff meetings or training, it’s also a minimum of one hour’s pay.
You’ll need to pay at your employee’s minimum hourly rate, but there will be instances where you’ll attract additional loading, such as remote work outside of a certain span of hours, doing overtime or working on weekends or public holidays.
If your employees complete remote work, they must maintain and provide a timesheet of the remote work completed to their employer. You might want to consider implementing a mobile time-clocking system to produce accurate time records.
Recalled to Work
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.
Overtime Rate Changes
All time worked outside the normal span of hours has now also been included in the overtime rates for part-time and casual employees:
Monday to Saturday
If worked more than 38 hours/week or 76 hours/fortnight
If worked more than 10 hours per day,
1.5x for the first 2 hours.
Worked outside of the regular span of hours.
1.5x for the first 2 hours.
Amendments to the Ordinary Hours of Work Clause
Should a client cancel (or reschedule) a home care or disability service within 7 days, the employer can do one of two things.
Firstly, the employer can redirect the employee to perform other work during the rostered hours. In this case, the employee must still be paid what they would have been paid if they performed the cancelled service or the actual redirected work- whichever is greater.
Alternatively, the employer can cancel the affected part of the shift or the shift entirely. In this scenario, you must pay the employee what they would have received had it not been cancelled. If an employer would prefer to allocate “make-up time” instead, they are allowed to do so. There are, however, certain conditions:
- the employee must be consulted first;
- the employee must be provided with 7 days' notice of the make-up time (this can be less if agreed by the employee);
- the new shift must be rostered within 6 weeks of the cancelled service;
- you don’t have to place them in the exact shift or client but you do need to put them in an area where they can competently perform the duty; and
- you’ll need to ensure that they’re paid the same or more compared to if they were to perform the cancelled service.
Roster changes can now be made if an employee proposes one to accommodate an agreed shift swap with another employee, so long as the employer agrees.
24-Hour Care and Sleepover Shifts for Home Care Employees
An employee can only require an employee to work a 24-hour care shift by agreement. During this 24-hour period, the employee is required to provide care for a maximum of 8 hours and is paid 155% of their appropriate rate for each 24-hour period.
If the employee is required to provide more than 8 hours of care, that work will be considered overtime at a rate of 150% for the first 2 hours and 200% thereafter. However, the employees are allowed to refuse to work more than 8 hours during a 24-hour care shift if its unreasonable.
The employee must be given the opportunity to sleep for 8 continuous hours during the shift with a separate bed, the necessary facilities and free board/lodging for each night they sleepover. As part of the latest SCHADS Award review, from 1 July 2022, clean linen will need to be provided in addition to the separate room with a bed and facilities.
Employees who perform at least 8 24-hour care shifts during the year will now be considered shift workers for the purposes of the National Employment Standards (NES) and are entitled to one additional week of annual leave.
Payroll can be a complex and time-consuming task, but cloud-based payroll solutions can make it much easier to stay up-to-date with the latest SCHADS Award changes.
With cloud payroll, you can automatically update employee records, calculate correct pay rates, and generate compliant payslips. This means that you can be confident that your employees are being paid correctly and that your business is meeting its obligations under the award.
Here’s how KeyPay cloud payroll works:
- Time and Attendance
- Live Timesheet Approval
No more manual entries or paper timesheet approvals. Supervisors and managers approve time and attendance on the go directly on KeyPay.
- Automated Modern Awards Compliance
KeyPay’s pre-built modern awards make it easy for payroll managers to pay SCHADS staff correctly each and every pay run.
- Automated Payslips
Create and customise Fair Work complaint payslips that can be easily accessed in the KeyPay cloud.
- Payroll Completed In Under an Hour with KeyPay
Never get it wrong. No back pay calculations. No inefficient manual interpretation. No data re-entry. Stress-free paydays that take less than an hour to complete!
If you’re interested in moving from a manual payroll system to KeyPay, get in touch with us today for a free demo.