Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2020 (“SCHADS Award”)
The Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2020 (“SCHADS Award”) covers many employers in the social and community services sector. This includes many charities, not-for-profits and NDIS providers. It is one of the most complex modern awards and runs to over 100 pages.
Employment Innovations advises a large number of organisations in this sector and has produced a SCHADS Award summary to help employers cut through the complexities of the award.
If you require any assistance in understanding your rights or obligations under the Award, please contact us.
The Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2020 (also referred to as the “SCHADS Award”) covers employers in the following industries:
- The crisis assistance and supported housing sector;
- The social and community services sector;
- The home care sector;
- The family daycare scheme sector.
Each sector has a separate “stream” under the Award, and employee entitlements vary according to the particular stream that applies.
The SCHADS Award does not generally cover:
- Employers in the aged care industry, these employers are generally covered by the Aged Care Award 2010;
- Employers who operate leisure and recreation facilities, they would likely be covered by the Amusement, Events and Recreation Award 2020;
- Employers covered by the Fitness Industry Award 2020;
- Businesses which deliver health care, medical services, and dental services (likely to be covered by the Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2020);
- Businesses in the health industry who employ a nurse or midwife in nursing or midwifery duties (likely to be covered by the Nurses Award 2010).
The SCHADS Award covers employees performing clerical work in the social and community services sector and the family daycare scheme sector, but not employees performing clerical work in the crisis assistance and supported housing sector or the home care sector (who will instead be covered by the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2020).
Crisis Assistance and Supported Housing Sectors;
This stream covers the provision of crisis assistance and supported housing services.
Social and Community Services Sector;
The SCHADS Award states this stream covers:
- Social work;
- Recreation work;
- Welfare work;
- Youth work;
- Community development work.
It also extends to organisations which mainly engage in policy, advocacy or represent other organisations who carry out the above work.
The stream also covers employers who carry out the provision of disability services including the provision of personal care and domestic and lifestyle support to a person with a disability in a community and/or residential setting including respite centre and day services.
Home Care Sector;
This stream covers the provision of personal care, domestic assistance or home maintenance to an aged person or a person with a disability in a private residence.
Family Day Care Scheme Sector;
This stream covers the operation of a family daycare scheme for the provision of family daycare services.
Classification Levels & Pay Point Progression
Employees covered by the SCHADS Award must be classified at a particular level. It is a requirement at clause 13.2 of the Award that “employers must advise their employees in writing of their classification upon commencement and of any subsequent changes to their classification”.
Some levels are further divided into separate pay points. Progression from one pay point to the next is generally dealt with by clause 13.3, which states:
(a) At the end of each 12 months’ continuous employment, an employee will be eligible for progression from one pay point to the next within a level if the employee has demonstrated competency and satisfactory performance over a minimum period of 12 months at each level within the level and:
(i) the employee has acquired and satisfactorily used new or enhanced skills within the ambit of the classification, if required by the employer; or
(ii) where an employer has adopted a staff development and performance appraisal scheme and has determined that the employee has demonstrated satisfactory performance for the prior 12 months’ employment.
(b) Movement to a higher classification will only occur by way of promotion or re-classification.
The Federal Circuit Court has recently provided clarity that this does not mean that employees automatically progress to the next pay point after 12 months of satisfactory performance, rather they just become eligible to be considered for progression. It is then for the employer to determine whether to promote them or re-classify them to a higher pay point (this is the effect of clause 13.3(b)), but there is no strict obligation to do so. Find out more on a blog by our partners at EI Legal.
However, it is important to note that some employees may be immediately entitled to progress through obtaining certain qualifications or being required to perform certain tasks (see further below).
Each stream deals with classifications slightly differently. As noted above, employees performing clerical work in the social and community services sector and the family daycare scheme sector will be covered by the SCHADS Award. However, the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2020 will apply to employees performing clerical work in the crisis assistance and supported housing sector and the home care sector.
Unusually, the SCHADS Award can apply to very senior employees – in the case of Ms Veronica Cubillo v North Australian Aboriginal Family Violence Legal Service  FWA 6818 the CEO of a social and community services organisation was found to be covered by the Award.
We set out below some guidance to help you assess which classification level applies to your employees.
Classifications | Social and Community Services
Employees at this level are typically trainees who are working under the direct supervision and require substantial training. This level does not cover staff who perform social/welfare tasks. Level 1 employees mainly carry out basic clerical tasks, personal care, and/or domestic duties. Those who prepare the full range of domestic duties and assist residents in carrying out personal care tasks will be under Pay Point 2.
Employees who are mainly carrying out domestic duties under supervision will progress to Pay Point 2 as follows:
- Full-time employees – after 12 months of industry experience;
- Part-time employees – after completing 1976 hours of industry experience.
Employees who are new to the industry but have some form of qualification in a relevant field will be classified under this level. Entry-level employees who hold a Certificate IV or Diploma qualification will commence at Pay Point 2 under this classification level.
Employees with a Diploma will advance to Pay Point 3 after 12 months’ satisfactory service (based on working full-time hours).
Employees at this level may assist with the development of client plans and activities but will work within established procedures. When solving issues, employees will rely on guidance and assistance from senior employees, however, they may also exercise limited judgement.
Employees at this level will have more industry experience than those at a Level 2 classification. These employees will have the relevant industry qualifications and may also supervise other employees at lower levels. Employees at this level will have a comprehensive understanding of activities that need to be performed. Some initiative can be used when implementing procedures. If an issue arises, the employee should be able to solve the problem whilst referring to resources and assistance where required.
Employees who hold a three-year degree will commence at Pay Point 3. Employees who hold a four-year degree will start at Pay Point 4.
Employees at this level will generally have:
- A relevant four-year degree with one year’s relevant experience;
- A three-year degree with two years of relevant experience;
- An Associate Diploma with relevant experience;
- Lesser formal qualifications with substantial years of relevant experience.
Employees at this level will work under general direction. Procedures and guidelines for their areas of work will generally already be established, although employees may be required to set outcomes and further expand work methods.
Level 4 employees may also need to supervise lower-level employees in areas which are more complex or to lead a team.
Due to their higher level of experience, employees may be asked to provide specialist advice in their area of expertise. They have a sound knowledge of program and activity policies. Employees who are working alone or as “sole employees” will commence work at this classification level.
Employees at this level will work under general direction from more senior employees and require a higher level of skills and knowledge to achieve results. Employees could be asked to draw upon more than one area of expertise or discipline. Initiative may be required to be exercised in areas where methods and practices are not established. Employees may also assist in the development of the organisation’s programs and procedures. They also may be required to help prepare the budget for the organisation.
Level 5 employees will often supervise and provide expert advice to employees at lower classification levels as well as to volunteers. Employees will monitor the workflow in the area in which they are responsible, as well as organize both their own and lower classified employees’ work. It is also important for employees at this level to exercise interpersonal skills to assist in the cooperation of staff as well as clients. Staff will also be responsible for running functions and projects, where outcomes will be outlined in line with the organisations’ goals.
Level 6 employees will work mainly autonomously and under limited direction from more senior employees or management. They will often perform a variety of tasks which may involve the development of operational practices, policies, and guidelines. Employees will have more responsibility and influence over the operational activities, they may also be required to prepare the organisational budgets and establish work procedures. Employees could also be asked to negotiate matters on behalf of the organisation and are expected to have a comprehensive understanding of the organisation’s long-term goals.
Level 6 employees may draw upon their expertise to exercise decision-making and advise employees at lower managerial level. For the areas in which they are responsible, employees are expected to set outcomes to achieve the organisational objectives. They may also be required to organise and coordinate programs and projects and will be senior members in the project team.
Employees will have an increased amount of:
- Impact on activities and objectives;
- Decision making and authority;
- Ability to delegate tasks;
- Provision of expert advice.
Due to the increased level of responsibility and authority, employees under this classification will require a high level of interpersonal skills to achieve results and motivate staff. They are expected to be able to exercise and implement effective staff management and personnel practices.
Community services employees under this classification will mainly work without direction and have managerial authority over a variety of functions within an organisation. These employees may also work as a specialist or a specialist member of a professional team.
Employees at this level will be involved in establishing programs, procedures, and work practices. It is expected that these employees will have a high level of responsibility in making decisions as well as providing expert advice in multiple areas of the organisation. Management of other employees is an important element of this level; employees will be required to set outcomes for the organisation as well as negotiate matters on behalf of the organisation.
Employees at this level will only be given broad direction from senior officers of the organisation and will have managerial responsibility for the organisation as a whole.
Employees under a Level 8 classification may also act as senior specialists who are able to provide advice to various departments, the employer, the Committee or Board of Management members. They will also be required to implement and develop techniques and practices in all areas of the organisation.
Employees generally will develop more extensive projects and programs at this level which will in turn influence the goals and objects of the organisation. Level 8 employees will engage in the development of company strategies as well as providing financial, technical, and specialised advice on both internal and government policies.
These employees hold a thorough understanding of the theoretical aspects of the industry to discover the best possible solution to issues that may sit outside of their initial area of expertise. Positions at this classification level are expected to establish, implement, monitor, and evaluate projects and programs. These employees will have a high level of independence of action within the parameters of the organisation’s policy.
Classifications | Crisis Accommodation Employees
This level is for employees who are just entering into the industry. Employees will work under the general direction of more senior employees when applying established procedures, methods, and guidelines. They are expected to manage and plan their own work. Some staff may be required to supervise limited numbers of other employees, in this instance, they should have a basic understanding of HR management to assist subordinate staff and volunteers with training.
Employees with a relevant three-year degree will commence at Pay Point 3 of this level and those with a relevant four-year degree will start at Pay Point 4.
Employees will need to apply knowledge and skills which have been gained through their qualifications and previous experience. Employees will often be required to supervise lower-level employees in more complex areas. Due to their level of experience, it is expected that these employees will provide specialist advice in their field. They should have a sound knowledge of program, activity, operational policy, or service aspects of the role performed within their own function or in multiple areas.
Employees at this level will generally have:
- A relevant four-year degree with one year’s relevant experience;
- A three-year degree with two years of relevant experience;
- An Associate Diploma with relevant experience;
- Lesser formal qualifications with substantial years of relevant experience.
Employees who are working alone will usually start at this level. Employees undertaking specialised services will be promoted to this level once they have had the appropriate experience and undertake work related to the responsibilities under this level.
Employees with more complex and professional experience will be classified under this level. Employees will typically have significant experience in areas as an intensive family support worker, counsellor, or court support advocate. These employees will often supervise and provide expert advice to a smaller team. Employees at this level will also participate in the establishment of organisational programs and procedures. They are expected to be able to provide expert advice to staff working at lower levels. Due to their level of experience, they will often interpret legislation and regulations relating to OH&S and apply this to the organisation.
Employees will usually work at a managerial capacity and have advanced specialist skills in a professional discipline. They will have more influence on the operational activities of the organisation. It is a requirement that employees at this level will have a comprehensive understanding of the organisation’s long-term goals. They may also be expected to negotiate matters on behalf of the organisation.
Workers will assist in the management of the organisation, the preparation of budgets, development of procedures and practices. They have the authority to make decisions, delegate tasks, coordinate programs and provide expert advice.
Graduates who are required to perform duties that are in line with their qualification and the above responsibilities will commence at Pay Point 2.
Classifications | Home Care Employees
- Employees will have less than 12 months of industry experience;
- Indicative but not exclusive tasks include; the undertaking of semi-skilled work, including cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, washing and ironing, shopping, sweeping paths, minor maintenance jobs, preparation and cooking of meals, defrosting refrigerators, emptying and cleaning of commodes, banking and account payment, organising appointments, assistance with the care of pets, and care of indoor and outdoor pot plants.
- As a minimum, an employee at this level will have satisfactorily completed the requirements of Level 1 or equivalent. Indicative of the qualifications required in this level include Home Care Certificate or equivalent; or relevant experience/on-the-job training;
- Indicative but not exclusive tasks include; the provision of personal care, supervising daily hygiene, laying out clothes and assisting in dressing, make beds, tidy rooms, preparation and cooking of meals and assistance with meals, dry cleaning, perform gardening duties, undertake basic repairs, clean, fitting and removal of aids and appliances, monitoring medications, fitting and changing of catheters, assistance with communication, accompanying clients on outings, domestics assistance and organising appointments.
- Qualifications can include an accredited qualification to the position at the level of Certificate 3 and/or knowledge and skills gained through on-the-job training;
- Employees at this level work under general supervision and are required to be able to explain to employees or clients how specific procedures and practices work;
- These positions require personal judgment. The nature of work is usually specialised with procedures well understood and clearly documented;
- Indicative but not exclusive tasks include; computer and other office skills; maintain mail register and records; sort, process and record invoices and correspondence; prepare meals and special functions; provide input into meal planning; order foodstuffs and commodities; liaise with dieticians on special needs; schedule work programs on a routine and regular basis; co-ordinate and direct the work of support staff including maintenance (no more than four); oversee the provision of domestic services; provide personal care to clients with particular emphasis on those requiring extra help due to specific physical problems or frailty; schedule maintenance work programs on a routine and regular basis; plan, develop, and co-ordinate diversional therapy programs and carry out general maintenance falling within the scope of trades skills.
- Qualifications include the satisfactory completion of the requirements of Level 3 or equivalent as well as having relevant industry experience;
- Employees at this level may provide direction, leadership, administration and rostering of direct care employees. May be required to write specialist reports in their field of expertise;
- Employees at this level plan, direct and train subordinate staff;
- Employees will have a thorough understanding of the relevant technology, procedures and processes used within their operating unit.
- Indicative but not exclusive of the skills required include: the manipulation of data e.g. modify fields of information and create spreadsheets; create new forms of files or records using a computer-based records system; access and extract information from external sources e.g. local authorities; roster staff and direct work programs; oversee the work and training of lower-level employees; provide guidance and counselling; assist in the development of budgets; order consumables and routine stock items used in domestic support areas; develop client care plans and oversee the provision of domestic services.
- The qualifications needed for this level are beyond those normally acquired through completion of a TAFE certificate or associate diploma alone. They might be acquired through completion of a degree or diploma course with little or no relevant work experience, or through lesser formal qualifications with relevant work skills, or through relevant experience and work skills;
- This level may include such roles as care co-ordinator, foreperson and maintenance supervisor;
- Employees at this level will co-ordinate resources and/or give support to more senior employees or be engaged in the duties of a specialist nature;
- Employees will be accountable for the quality, effectiveness, cost and timeliness of the programs, projects or work plans under their control and for the safety and security of the assets being managed;
- Employees will require a thorough understanding of the relevant technology, procedures and processes used within their operating unit;
- Employees will provide direction, leadership and structured training or on-the-job training to supervised employees or groups of employees;
- Employees will have skills in managing time, setting priorities and planning and organising one’s own work, and that of supervised employees.
Classifications | Family Day Care Employees
- An employee engaged to undertake work that is supportive in nature;
- They have clearly defined performance outcomes and receive a high level of instruction and supervision;
- Employees will require good communication, numeric and written skills;
- May be involved in assisting childcare provider training, or supporting social and/or learning activities such as equipment maintenance, monitoring and basic cataloguing.
- Employees will be required to operate with a degree of autonomy;
- They may be responsible for particular functions within an agency such as the administration and coordination of a unit;
- They may require knowledge of child development, health, hygiene, welfare and safety issues relevant to their position.
- Employees will be required to operate with a higher degree of autonomy than a Level 2 employee and will operate under minimal supervision;
- Engaged in service delivery, which may include regular fieldwork, monitoring standards of childcare, the recruitment and training of childcare providers, liaison with parents and government departments and the placement of children. They may also be responsible for the overall coordination for a unit including administration of a complex nature.
Qualifications are required by State or Statutes, or where such a Statute does not exist, experience in this or a related work discipline and ability to use appropriate skills and techniques.
- Employees will be responsible for the administration and/or coordination of a service;
- They will have a broad understanding of childcare, community development, welfare issues, community education and service administration;
- Substantial involvement in activities such as service planning, policy development and ensuring statutory requirements are met;
- They will have involvement in more than one program within a service that may include planning for the recruitment and training of childcare providers and organizing education programs, policy setting, financial management and reporting.
Qualification as per State Regulations.
- Employees will operate at a higher level of discretion, skill and responsibility than a Level 4 employee;
- They will take a leadership role and be largely responsible for the overall management of a complex scheme.;
- They will work to a high level of autonomy in the financial and human resources function of the scheme and provide advice to the management committee on major areas of policy and/or key issues to the organization.
They may be responsible for multiple services.
Types of Employment
A full-time is an employee who is engaged to work an average of 38 ordinary hours per week. Employees can be paid per hour or paid a salaried amount.
A part-time employee works less than 38 ordinary hours per week (or over the roster cycle) and has reasonably predictable hours of work. The minimum engagement depends on the employees’ rostered hours.
Part-time employees must have a written agreement that includes the number of hours the employee is guaranteed to be given each week or roster cycle. The agreement must also stipulate the days of the week the employee will work as well as their starting at finishing times each day. The agreed regular pattern of work does not have to provide for the same guaranteed number of hours in each week. The arrangement can be varied by agreement between the employee and employer.
A casual employee does not have guaranteed hours of work and usually works an irregular pattern. They are paid an additional 25% loading on top of the permanent base rate of pay as compensation for annual leave and personal/carer’s leave entitlements, notice of termination, redundancy benefits and other entitlements of full or part-time employees.
A casual employee must be engaged for the minimum number of hours per shift for the following sectors:
- Social and community services (except when undertaking disability services work) = 3 hours;
- Home care employees = 1 hour;
- All other employees = 2 hours.
Casual employees are entitled to ask their employer to convert their employment to full-time or part-time employment when they have worked a regular pattern of hours over a period of at least 12 months and they could continue to work those hours as a full time or part-time employee without significant changes to their employment.
The employer must provide a copy of the casual conversion subclause of the Award to all casual employees within their first 12 months of employment. It is generally easiest to provide this to an employee when they start their employment. Any request to convert must be considered by the Employer but may be refused on reasonable business grounds.
Equal Remuneration Order
Pay rates for some employees covered by the SCHADS award are gradually increasing from 1 December 2012 to 1 December 2020 as a result of an Equal Remuneration Order. These include employees in:
- social and community services classifications;
- crisis accommodation classifications.
This means that employees within these classifications generally have their pay rates adjusted twice a year:
1 July – following the Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review*;
1 December – an increase that comes from the Equal Remuneration Order.
* Please note that the annual wage review date for the SCHADS Award was announced by Fair Work to remain in July regardless of the tiered wage updates. You can read our guidance on the 2020 national minimum wage increase.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has guidance on how to calculate the transitional pay rates. If you need advice on increasing pay rates in line with the Equal Remuneration Order, please contact Employment Innovations.
Queensland Pay Equity Order
Pay equity regulations made in March and December 2012 mean that there are also specific pay rates for some employees in Queensland covered under:
- social and community services;
- crisis assistance.
Employers covered by these regulations are non-constitutional corporations that existed before 1 January 2010. These employers are still covered by the Equal Remuneration Order, however, the higher of the two rates will apply when considering pay increases.
Pay Point Progression
To progress through pay points within a classification level, employees need to demonstrate competent and satisfactory performance over the past 12 months with their current employer.
They will need to show that they’ve either:
- gained and suitably used new or improved skills within their classification, if required by their employer; or
- met the requirements of their workplace’s staff development and appraisal scheme.
If an employee has demonstrated these skills over a 12 month period, they will be entitled to progress within their classification. It is important to note that some employees may be immediately entitled to progress automatically through obtaining certain qualifications.
Hours of Work
The ordinary hours of work will be 38 hours per week or an average of 38 hours per week. These can be hours can be structured to be worked:
- in a week of five days in shifts not exceeding eight hours each (this can be extended to up to 10 hours per shift, but only by mutual agreement);
- in a fortnight of 76 hours in 10 shifts not exceeding eight hours each; or
- in a four week period of 152 hours to be worked as 19 shifts of eight hours each, subject to practicality.
These ordinary hours for “Day Workers” (non-shift work employees) may be worked between 6:00 am and 8:00 pm, Monday to Sunday.
Saturday and Sunday Work
Employees whose ordinary working hours include work on a Saturday and/or Sunday will be paid the following:
- Ordinary hours worked between midnight on Friday and midnight on Saturday – time and a half;
- Ordinary hours worked between midnight of Saturday and midnight on Sunday – double time.
These extra rates will be in substitution for and not cumulative upon the shift premiums prescribed in the award and are not applicable to overtime hours worked on a Saturday or Sunday.
A casual employee who works on a weekend will be paid at the following rates:
- Ordinary hours worked between midnight Friday and midnight Saturday –175% of the ordinary rate of pay (inclusive of the casual loading); and
- Ordinary hours worked between midnight Saturday and midnight Sunday –225% of the ordinary rate of pay (inclusive of the casual loading).
An employee who works on a public holiday will be paid double time and a half of their ordinary rate for hours worked on the public holiday. Shift workers who work on a public holiday will also have to be paid the public holiday rates for hours worked.
The SCHADS Award doesn’t have specific minimum daily hours for public holidays.
Overtime | Full-Time Employees
A full-time employee is paid the following overtime rates for all work in addition to their rostered ordinary hours on any day.
Disability services, home care and daycare employees
Time and a half for the first 2 hours, double time thereafter
Double time and a half
Social and community services and crisis accommodation employees
Time and a half for the first 3 hours, double time thereafter
Double time and a half
Overtime rates are in substitution for and not cumulative upon the shift premiums prescribed in Clause 29.
Overtime | Part-Time and Casual Employees
All time worked by part-time employees or casual employees in excess of 38 hours per week (or 76 hours per fortnight) or which exceeds 10 hours per day will be paid overtime at the following rates:
Time and a half for the first 2 hours, double time thereafter
Double time and a half
Overtime rates are in substitution for and not cumulative upon the shift premiums prescribed in clause 29.
Overtime rates of pay are not applicable to ordinary hours worked on a Saturday or Sunday.
Rest Period After Overtime
Part-time employees and full-time employees who work excessive overtime resulting in less than 10 consecutive hours off before their next shift, will be released from duty until they have had 10 hours off work without loss of pay for rostered ordinary hours.
If the employee is required by the employer to resume work without having 10 consecutive hours off duty they will be paid at the rate of double time until they are released from duty. The employee will then be entitled to be absent until they have had 10 consecutive hours off without loss of pay for rostered ordinary hours.
Recall to Work Overtime
An employee recalled to work overtime after leaving the employers or client’s premises will be paid for a minimum of two hours work at the appropriate rate for each time recalled.
Rest Break During Overtime
An employee recalled to work overtime after leaving work and who is required to work for more than four hours will be allowed a 20-minute meal break and a further 20 minutes after each subsequent four hours’ overtime. The employer is required to provide a meal during this break, free of charge. If the employer is unable to provide a meal, the employee will be entitled to a meal allowance (see allowances section below).
Each employee who works in excess of five hours is entitled to an unpaid meal break. The meal break is to be between 30 minutes and 60 minutes in duration and taken at a mutually agreed time.
Where the employee is required by the employer to have their meal break with a client, the break will be paid and counted as time worked.
Where an employee is required to work during a meal break and continuously thereafter, they will be paid overtime for all time worked until the meal break is taken.
Each employee is entitled to a paid 10-minute tea break in every four hours worked. The paid tea break is counted as time worked and is to be taken at a mutually agreed time.
A sleepover is when an employer requires an employee to sleep overnight at a premise where their client is located, including respite care.
A sleepover should be rostered, with a fortnights notice as per clause 25.5. An employee may refuse a sleepover, with reasonable cause, if the sleepover has not been rostered accordingly.
The span for a sleepover will be a continuous period of 8 hours. The employee will be entitled to a sleepover allowance of 4.9% of the standard rate for each night on which they sleepover.
In the event that the employee is required to perform work during the sleepover period, the employee will be paid for the time worked at the prescribed overtime rate with a minimum payment of one hour worked.
An employer may roster an employee to perform work immediately before and/or immediately after the sleepover period but must roster or pay the employee for at least four hours work.
24 Hour Care
A 24-hour care shift requires an employee to be available for duty in a client’s home for a 24 hour period. During this period, the employee is required to provide the client with the services specified in the care plan for not more than a total of 8 hours.
The employee will have the opportunity to sleep during a 24-hour care shift.
The employee will be paid eight hours of work at 155% of their appropriate rate for each 24 hour period.
Where an employee agrees to supervise clients in excursion activities involving overnight stays from home the following provisions apply:
Monday to Friday Excursions;
Payment at the ordinary rate of pay for time worked between the hours of 8 am – 6 pm, up to a maximum of 10 hours per day. The employee will receive overtime pay hours worked outside of this.
The employee will receive a sleepover allowance for each night on which they sleep over (see allowances section below).
Where an employee involved in overnight excursion activities is required to work on a Saturday and/or Sunday, the days worked in the two-week cycle, including that weekend, must not exceed 10 days.
Rostered Days Off and Rest Breaks
- Excluding casual employees – employees should be rostered off for at least two full days in each week, or four full days in each fortnight or eight full days in each 28-day cycle. Where practicable, these days off will be consecutive;
- Employees should be allowed at least 10 hours break between shifts or periods of work;
- This rest break between shifts can be reduced to 8 hours by agreement where a shift is contiguous with the start/end of a sleepover shift.
- The roster should be provided to employees at least two weeks before the commencement of the roster period;
- Roster changes may be made with seven days notice;
- Rosters may be altered at any time to enable the service of the organisation to be carried on because another employee is absent from duty due to illness, or in an emergency;
- This does not apply where the only change to the roster is the mutually agreed addition of extra hours for part-time employees.
For home care employees only, the SCHADS Award does contain provisions to allow for roster changes in the event of “Client Cancellation” as follows:
- The employer must inform the permanent employee of the cancellation by at least 5:00 pm the day before the shift – otherwise, the employee will be entitled to payment for the shift;
- The employer can direct the employee to make up time for the cancellation during the fortnightly roster period.
This clause under the award is specific to only certain industries under the SCHADS Award, including: Social and community services employees when undertaking disability services work and home care employees.
A broken shift means a shift worked by an employee that includes one or more breaks (other than a meal break) and where the span of hours is not more than 12 hours. Where a broken shift is worked:
- Work performed beyond the maximum span of 12 hours will be paid at double time;
- Employees must receive a minimum break of 10 hours between broken shifts rostered on successive days;
- An employee working a broken shift has to be paid penalty rates and shift loading. The shift loading is worked out by the finishing time of the broken shift.
From Monday to Friday, a shift worker can work the following shifts:
- an afternoon shift – ends after 8 pm and at or before midnight;
- a night shift – ends after midnight or starts before 6 am.
A shift worker can also work a public holiday shift – this is any time worked between midnight on the night before the public holiday and midnight on the public holiday.
Shift work attracts specific penalties for performing such work, these vary depending on the type of shift the employee has been engaged for;
- An afternoon shift will be paid a loading of 12.5% of the ordinary rate of pay;
- A night shift will be paid a loading of 15% of their ordinary rate of pay;
- A public holiday shift will be paid a loading of 150% of their ordinary rate of pay for that part of such shift which is on the public holiday.
Shift work must be worked in one continuous block of hours that may include meal breaks and sleepover.
Annual Leave Loading
An employee (other than a shift worker) will be paid an annual leave loading of 17.5% of their ordinary rate of when they take annual leave.
A shift worker who gets annual leave must be paid their base pay rate plus the higher of:
- a 17.5% loading; or
- the shift loadings and weekend penalty rates the employee normally gets.
These are some of the commonly used allowances under the Award. Refer to clause 20 of the Award for list of all allowances and the full conditions associated with each allowance. Rates correct as at 1 July 2020:
$0.32 per shift up to a maximum of $1.49 per week
$13.569 for a meal
$49.30 for each sleepover
$1.23 per shift up to a maximum of $6.24 per week
$0.78 per km
A home care employee engaged to work in higher duties for a period of two hours or less must be paid the higher rate for time worked only. If a home care employee works higher duties for more than two hours they will need to be paid the higher rate of pay for the whole day or shift.
All other employees who are called upon to relieve the duties of a higher classified employee for a period of five consecutive working days or more will be paid at the higher rate of pay for the entire period.
Termination of Employment and Notice
The employee and employer need to provide the following amount of notice. The period of notice required is dependent on the employees’ period of continuous service. This service includes authorized unpaid leave (e.g. unpaid parental leave). However, this period does not include periods of unauthorized leave or absences.
Period of continuous service
Minimum notice period
1 year or less
More than 1 year – 3 years
More than 3 years – 5 years
More than 5 years
When notice is being given by the employer, the periods above must be increased by one week if the employee is over 45 years old and has completed at least two years of continuous service with the employer at the end of the day the notice is given.
If the employee is over 18 years old and fails to provide the sufficient amount of notice, an employer may deduct up to one week’s wages from an employee’s pay if the deduction isn’t unreasonable.
The employer is only able to deduct pay from wages owed, they cannot deduct from the employee’s entitlements e.g. accumulated leave or other over-award payments.
How Employment Innovations can help
If you require assistance with dealing with disciplinary issues concerning staff, Employment Innovations can help. Our HR Advisors will be able to guide you through each step of the disciplinary process and we have template documents (e.g. direction to attend a disciplinary meeting, written warning, letter of termination, etc) available as part of our subscription packages.
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About Employment Innovations
Employment Innovations is one of Australia’s leading providers of employment services designed to increase productivity and ensure compliance. Its services and solutions include all the tools that every Australian small to medium sized employer needs – including workplace advice, legal services, payroll solutions, migration, human resource management and HR software.
The information provided in these knowledge base articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact Employment Innovations for advice.
This knowledge base article will change over time, as Modern Award legislation relating to this Industry or Occupation is passed by the Fair Work Commission. Originally published on 20 October 2020 and last updated on 15 September 2021.
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