An employee has made an application to vary the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 (SCHADS Award), such that it requires the payment of the extant vehicle allowance (clause 20.7 of the SCHADS Award) in respect of travel undertaken by support workers to their first client for the day and home from their last client of the day. In addition, the application seeks an entitlement to be paid for the time spent undertaking that travel.
Ai Group opposes the application. It seeks the introduction of new entitlements that may not be adequately funded by the relevant funding models and bodies. Further, the application seeks to re‑ventilate substantially similar issues to those that were dealt with during the four-yearly review of modern awards, in the context of major proceedings about the SCHADS Award. In those proceedings, the Fair Work Commission decided not to vary the SCHADS Award to deal expressly with the issue of travel. Ai Group had filed detailed submissions about the various practical complexities associated with calculating any entitlement associated with travel undertaken by employees and the unfairness that would be visited upon employers if the award were to require payment for that travel.
The Applicant was directed to file submissions and evidence by 27 July 2023 and a Directions Hearing was held before Justice Hatcher on 10 August 2023 where the parties were directed to file further submissions and evidence. Ai Group anticipates filing submissions for the matter. Any members seeking more information or wishing to discuss the matter should contact Ai Group’s Principal Advocate, Ruchi Bhatt at: email@example.com.