1 July 2022 changes to Social and Community Services Award

Upcoming changes to part-time employee and other entitlements under the Social and Community Services (SCHADS) Award.

Minimum payments for some casuals

From the first pay period starting on or after 1 July 2022, the minimum payment for casual home care employees increases from 1 hour to 2 hours. Casual employees can work for more than one client during their minimum payment period.

Minimum payments for part-time employees

From the first pay period starting on or after 1 July 2022, part-time employees will need to be paid for the following minimum hours for each shift or work period in a broken shift:

  • social and community services employees (except when doing disability services work) – 3 hours
  • social and community services employees doing disability services work – 2 hours
  • all other employees – 2 hours.

The requirement to be paid for these minimum number of hours is called a ‘minimum payment’.

Part-time employees can work for more than one client during their minimum payment period.

This is a new entitlement for part-time employees. Until 1 July, there is no minimum payment for part-time employees under the SCHADS Award.

Consultation requirements for different arrangements

Until 1 July, employers and employees can agree that an employee will work shifts or periods of work in broken shifts that are less than the new minimum payments.

If an employer and an employee made this kind of agreement before 1 February 2022, they need to:

  • discuss the new minimum payment requirements
  • genuinely try to reach an agreement on a variation to the employee’s current hours of work that’s consistent with the new minimum payments and suits the employee’s circumstances.

If an employer and employee have discussed the agreement but can’t agree on a change, the employer can vary the agreement to meet the new minimum payments by giving the employee 42 days’ written notice of the change. This variation can’t start before 1 July 2022.

These consultation requirements don’t stop an employer and an employee from agreeing to other changes to the agreement that are consistent with award provisions.

Broken shifts

The award changes introduce 2 broken shift allowances for social and community services employees when undertaking disability services work and home care employees, with a higher payment if there are 2 breaks. For the purposes of this allowance, breaks are unpaid and not a meal break.

If an employee is required to work a broken shift, the minimum payment will apply for each period of work during that broken shift.

Enterprise agreements

If an employer and employee are covered by a current registered or enterprise agreement, these new provisions generally won’t apply to them. This is because they are new provisions for employees covered by the SCHADS Award.

Damaged clothing allowance

Employers will be required to cover reasonable costs associated with repairing or replacing an employee’s personal clothing. This applies to personal clothing that is soiled or damaged beyond repair while the employee is performing their duties, except for normal wear and tear. A laundry allowance may also be payable for soiled clothing.

Remote work

New entitlements will apply from 1 July to employees who perform remote work as defined in the SCHADS Award.

New minimum payments and penalty rates will apply depending on when remote work is performed, and whether the employee is required to be on call. Multiple payments may apply if multiple instances of remote work are performed on any day.

These new entitlements are in addition to the existing on call allowance in the SCHADS Award.

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