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On 31 January 2022, the Fair Work Commission handed down an important Determination on the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 (SCHADS Award).

Parts of the Determination come into operation on 1 February 2022 and the rest on 1 July 2022.

Transitional arrangements which commenced on 1 February 2022, require employers to discuss and seek to agree to vary the hours of part-time employees where their current minimum engagement is shorter than the minimum that will apply from 1 July 2022 onwards.

What key changes to the SCHADS Award will take effect on 1 July 2022?

  • Minimum engagement for part-time employees – minimum payment requirements apply per shift or period of work in a broken shift (i.e. 3 hours for social and community services employees / 2 hours for disability support workers and others).
  • Right for part-time employees to request to increase their part-time hours – where a part-time employee has worked more than their guaranteed hours for at least 12 months, the employee has a right to request to increase their guaranteed hours, which can only be refused by an employer on reasonable business grounds. However, there are no changes to when overtime rates kick in for part-time employees.
  • On call / remote response work – significant changes mean that where an employee is required to be available to perform remote work (e.g. responding to telephone calls to handle rostering emergencies or providing phone advice to staff), an “on call” allowance is payable. Depending upon the timing of when such remote response work is performed, different minimum payments apply for performing such work.
  • Broken shifts – in a major change, broken shifts will be capped to a maximum of 2 periods of work, unless an employee agrees to a maximum of 3 periods of work. A broken shift allowance must be paid each time a broken shift is worked, the quantum of which depends upon whether the broken shift arrangement involves 2 or 3 periods of work.
  • Client cancellation – where a client cancellation occurs, the employer can either direct the employee to perform other work during the hours they were originally rostered to work or provide make-up time (provided 12 hours’ notice is provided), within 6 weeks of the cancelled shift.

Further, a number of other changes will occur on 1 July 2022 in relation to 24-hour care and laundering clothing and damaged clothing.

A link to the complete decision of the FWC is here: 4 yearly review of the SCHADS Award, 31 January 2022 [PR737905]

How can organisations plan for these changes?

We encourage all our clients in this sector to comprehensively review the impact of these changes on their organisation and to make strategic plans to ensure they are legally compliant with financially sustainable employment and operational arrangements.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you require specialised legal advice on how these changes impact your organisation.

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