Bamboozled by industry awards and pay rates – and how to keep your business compliant? To help you make sense of things, we’re spotlighting one award that could cover you and your employees: the SCHADS Award.
It’s a fairly complex, niche award – so you may need to speak with the Fair Work Ombudsman (previously known as Fair Work Australia) to find out more. But here are some fast facts to get you started:
What is the SCHADS Award?
The SCHADS Award is the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award (MA000100).
It covers businesses in:
- Home care
- Family day care scheme
- Social and community services
- Crisis assistance and supported housing
However, it doesn’t apply if you’re already covered by one or more of these awards:
- Aged Care Award
- Nurses Award
- Fitness Industry Award
- Amusement, Events and Recreation Award
- Health Professionals and Support Services Award
What employment types are covered?
The SCHADS Award covers full-time, part-time and casual employees. There are different stipulations for each of these employment types.
For instance, a casual employee working in the social and community services sector must work at least three hours a week, while it’s just one hour for a home care employee.
How should my business comply with the SCHADS Award?
The SCHADS Award outlines everything your employee is entitled to, like:
- Minimum weekly wages and penalty rates
- Hours of work
- Rostered days off
- Rest and meal breaks
- Allowances: for clothing and equipment, laundry, meals, first aid, travel and transport, heat and on-call time
- Annual leave
- Public holidays
However, earlier this year the Fair Work Commission began a four yearly review of modern awards, including the SCHADS Award. While we still don’t know exactly what the changes will be, the proposed amendments include:
- Adding a minimum rate for part-time employees
- Preventing shifts from being broken into more than two work periods – and paying employees a broken shift allowance
- Allowing roster changes if your staff want to swap shifts
- Changing the minimum payment period for ‘on call’ allowances
- Giving you two options when a client cancels: send your employee to do other work for the rostered hours, or cancel the shift (either paying your employee the amount they would have received, or giving them make-up time to be done within six weeks of the cancelled shift)
The Fair Work Commission is also looking into changing reimbursements for the cost to clean clothing and equipment, overtime for part-time workers, as well as new clauses for 24-hour care and sleepover shifts.
A conference was held on 27 May, followed by a hearing on 30 June. Revised rates of pay also came into effect on 1 July 2021. You can get a full list of these from the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
What happens if I don’t comply?
Some big health providers have been in hot water in recent years for non-compliance with the SCHADS Award. After all, it’s a complex area to navigate.
To be compliant, you need to make sure your workers are paid at least the minimum wage, as well as the correct casual or part-time loadings, penalty rates, and shift allowances. But with rules changing all the time, it’s hard to keep on top of it all.
If you make a mistake, you could put your business at risk of hefty penalties – plus big back payments to your staff for seven years!
How can I automate my payroll for the SCHADS Award?
We know it can be a nightmare calculating allowances, loading and pay conditions for all your workers. That’s why we can configure Wageloch to your award rules and pay rates. And if you ever get stuck, our local support team is here to help.
To see how Wageloch makes managing your awards a breeze, book a demo today with our friendly team in Australia today.
The information in this article is intended as a guide only, providing an overview of general information available. It’s 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.