Biggest Pitfalls in the Aged Care Industry
The Aged Care Modern Award in Australia covers all employees who work in the aged care industry. This includes employees who work in nursing homes, hostels, residential care facilities, home care services and day respite centres.
The award sets out the minimum terms and conditions of employment for aged care workers, including wages and hours of work. It also contains provisions relating to leave, rostering and shift work, superannuation, and workplace health and safety.
The Aged Care Modern Award is a vital tool for ensuring that aged care workers are fairly compensated for their work. And if employers don’t comply with the Award, they can be subject to penalties.
There are several reasons why an employer might not comply with the Award. They may be unaware of their obligations, or they may deliberately choose to flout the rules. However, in some cases, non-compliance can result from unintentional errors or inadequate systems and processes. Whatever the reason, non-compliance with the Award can have serious consequences for aged care service providers.
Unfortunately, there’s not much guidance from the Fair Work Commission regarding staying compliant with all its regulations. In addition, the Fair Work website is not always easy to navigate, and it can be hard to find the information you need. So we often find employers fall into non-compliance traps purely on the grounds of a misunderstanding.
Combined with the very technical legal jargon, it’s no wonder that so many businesses struggle to stay on top of their compliance obligations.
For example, there are various conditions for requiring employees to sleep over, such as how long the sleepover can last, facility access and overtime rates.
This is a common condition in the Aged Care Award that catches a lot of businesses off-guard.
Employers in the aged care sector must also be aware of the potential pitfalls associated with allowances.
Employees are eligible for specific allowances based on their skills or tasks, which can often be significant.
For example, if you require your staff to sleep over, they must be given free board and lodging for each night that they have to sleep over, including a separate room with a bed and an additional sleepover allowance.
Most employers believe that they can add a chunk of money to their employees’ salaries. But it doesn’t work that way. It’s your responsibility to pay them each and every allowance relevant to their line of work. You could be subject to some pretty harsh penalties if you fail to do so.
So, what is the solution? Cloud payroll software and automated time and attendance software.
As the aged care industry continues to grow, so does the need for compliance with government regulations. One of the most complex and time-consuming compliance areas is payroll. Aged care providers must ensure that their employees are paid correctly and on time, while also complying with a range of tax and superannuation laws.
While many aged care providers still use manual payroll processes, this is no longer an efficient or effective way to manage payroll compliance. Automated cloud-based payroll software can save aged care providers both time and money by automating many of the tasks involved in payroll compliance. For example, cloud-based software can help to calculate employee hours worked, identify errors in timesheets, and generate accurate payslips.