As part of the Fair Work Commission’s four yearly review of the modern awards, a number of significant substantive claims have been made by the Health Services Union, the Australian Services Union and United Voice to vary the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 (the SCHADS Award).

Some of the claims being pursued by the unions include:

  • The deletion of the 24-hour care provisions;
  • Various changes to broken shift provisions, including:
    • A new 15% loading that is payable throughout the shift, including any breaks;
    • Requiring the consent of the employee to work a broken shift;
    • Requiring that a shift can only be ‘broken’ into two portions;
    • Requiring payment for travel that is necessarily undertaken by an employee during breaks between the active parts of a broken shift.
  • A new requirement to cover the reasonable costs of replacing an employee’s clothes if they are damaged or soiled during work;
  • A new minimum engagement of three hours for full-time, part-time and casual employees engaged in any sector under the SCHADS Award;
  • Requiring that disability support care workers and homecare workers be paid for all travel to and from their own residence and the location of an appointment with a client, as well as for any travel between clients;
  • Various changes to the SCHADS Award provisions dealing with excursions;
  • A requirement that casual employees be paid a 25% loading in addition to weekend and public holiday penalty rates and overtime rates;
  • For part-time employees, requiring payment at overtime rates for all work performed in addition to their rostered hours;
  • Requiring that overtime rates be paid to part-time and casual employees after eight hours of work;
  • Requiring employers to cover the costs of an employee’s use of their mobile phone for work; and
  • Requiring employers to pay employees for at least one hour at overtime rates when they are performing work at home.


The Commission has directed parties to file submissions and evidence in opposition to the claims by 5 April 2019. The matter has been listed for hearing before a Full Bench of the Commission for five days, commencing 12 April 2019.

Members concerned about the implications of the above claims are urged to urgently contact Brent Ferguson, National Manager – Workplace Relations Advocacy & Policy on (02) 9466 5530 or 0405 448 119.

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