Changes to SCHADS Award for casuals – new overtime and penalty rates

The Fair Work Commission has finalised the 4-yearly review of the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 (decision available here).

Among the most significant changes, casual employees are now entitled to overtime and weekend/public holiday penalty rates in addition to their casual loading of 25%. Previously, these rates were paid in substitution for the casual loading.

In the Commission’s view, the casual loading of 25% is meant to compensate for the fact that casual employees do not receive entitlements such as paid leave, notice of termination and redundancy benefits. It is not intended to compensate casuals for working overtime or on weekends/public holidays. Therefore, the Commission considers that the loading should not be substituted for those benefits.

The Commission is proposing to apply the increase in overtime rates from 1 December 2019. It proposes to phase in the weekend and public holiday increase, with an initial 10% increase on 1 December 2019, and the full 25% increase on 1 July 2020. These proposals will be the subject of further submissions and a hearing mid-October.

This decision will have a substantial impact on wage costs for employers who pay their employees based on the SCHADS Award, effectively increasing overtime, weekend and public holiday rates by 25% for casual staff.When the changes take effect, they will also affect the better off overall test for employers seeking to introduce new enterprise agreements.

Employers covered by the SCHADS Award should prepare themselves for the introduction of these changes later this year and into 2020.

If you have any questions about how the changes to casual rates under the SCHADS Award will affect your organisation, please contact the Russell Kennedy Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety team.

Mondelez appeal

Mondelez and the Federal Government have both applied to the High Court for special leave to appeal the decision of the Federal Court in Mondelez v AMWU [2019] FCAFC 138. For more information about the decision, here is our article on the subject.

Victorian Portable Long Service Scheme – are you ready?

The Victorian Portable Long Service Scheme commenced on 1 July 2019. Employees in the community services sector, contract cleaning industry and security industry will now accumulate long service benefits, regardless of whether they move from employer to employer within that industry. For more background on the Scheme, see our previous alerts here and here.

Employers covered by the Scheme are required to register with the Long Service Benefits Authority, and pay a levy. Registrations must be lodged by 30 September 2019. Failure to register and pay the levy attracts heavy penalties of up to $19,826.40 per day.

Many employers are still uncertain about whether the Scheme covers their organisation. This is particularly so for the disability, community health and community services sector, where many organisations are likely to have some employees falling within the scheme, and some falling outside it.