Are the SCHADS Award changes costing your business?

SCHADS-Awards

The latest changes to the SCHADS Award have created a lot of confusion for NDIS providers. This article helps providers understand and manage this change.

The challenge for providers

You must pay part time or casual workers a minimum of 2 hours pay for any shift – even if the shift is less than 2 hours long  

Before 1 July 2022, there was no minimum hours for part time workers and casual workers had a minimum of 1 hour.  

The new rules demand that if you have a worker performing a shift less than the newly mandated requirement – a shift less than 2 hours (or 3 hours for SCS workers not working in disability) – the worker must be paid for the entire minimum hours.  

This can have an immediate and significant impact on your worker costs where every shift under 2 hours, that don’t have a shift immediately after, you will be paying your workers double for each of these shifts. This means you are paying workers for hours they are not working. 

Further, if you have a worker performing a broken shift two shifts that have more than the time to travel between them you must pay the worker a broken shift allowance. This can be on top of minimum hours shift payment as shifts with 2 breaks are not allowed. 

How to stop the bleeding 

There are some questions you can ask yourself to better understand if and how much these changes might be impacting your business; and, how to manage them moving forward. 

Understand the impact.

  1. Define a timeframe to review – a week, fortnight or month. 
  2. Work out how many shifts you have for casual and part time workers that are less than 2 hours long. 
  3. Calculate the immediate increase in payroll costs for your business. 

Follow the rules. 

  1. Identify: Review your current processes so you can identify future occurrences. 
  2. Comply: Make sure minimum and broken shift payments are processed (and compliant with) the Award. 
  3. Be consistent: Be able to demonstrate your compliance with the Award so auditors can see you are following the rules. 

How VisiCase solves this challenge

It’s our job to help providers make the complex, simple. Here’s two ways how VisiCase helps you do this. 

i. VisiCase includes SCHADS Award Interpretation that now includes all these new rules so your timesheet interface file will ensure your workers are paid correctly with these new rules. An example of the rules in VisiCase is shown below. 

schads-minimum-hours

ii. VisiCase helps you minimise the impact of this change to your organisation by alerting you to any situation where you are at risk of paying for minimum hours when you are rostering. 

For more information about how VisiCase can help your business, contact us on (02) 9034 6600 or email sales@visicase.com

Aged Care: Support at Home Program Delayed

support-at-home

After receiving extensive stakeholder feedback from the Aged Care sector, The Albanese Government has pushed back the Support at Home Program reforms to July 2024.

In announcing the new start date, the Australian Government has cited it needs more time to ensure the Program fully aligned with Royal Commission recommendations. The new date aligns with the initial recommendation as presented through the Royal Commission’s Report.

The announcement was also a response to market push-back that more time would be required for sector consultation to ensure all stakeholders were fully informed and had adequate time for planning and implementing the new business model. One such change was mandatory aged care worker registration as unions and providers argue over details of the scheme.

What does it mean for Aged Care Providers?

The good news is that it gives providers more time to prepare for what’s set to be a significant change in how the government will fund aged care services to over 1 million elderly Australians.

Whilst the implications are unclear, the model has been compared to the NDIS program that provides more ‘choice and control’ to recipients whilst reducing risks by improving worker screening requirements.

The other (immediate) issue facing the sector is managing the depleting and stressed workforce. A widely supported ray of hope is emerging with the Australian Fair Work Commission now considering a Union submission for a 25% increase for residential and home care workers with the Federal Government proposing to fund the potential pay rise.

Next Steps

Stakeholders in the Aged Care Community have welcomed the delay and are looking forward to the opportunity to participate in mooted system pilots which will inform final system design.

For more information, please visit The Department of Health and Aged Care website by clicking here.