FWC UPDATE: Casual penalty rates increases under SCHADS Award deferred!

FWC UPDATE: Casual penalty rates increases under SCHADS Award deferred!

Recently CCER advised members that casuals covered by the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 (SCHADS Award) will receive a major pay increase when working overtime, weekends, and public holidays (See CCER article: ‘News: Casual Penalty Rates to Increase Under SCHADS Award’.

In a decision issued on 2 September 2019 (the September decision), the Fair Work Commission (FWC) decided to vary the rates of pay for casuals covered by the SCHADS Award so that they receive the 25% casual loading in addition to their weekend and public holiday penalty rates, and overtime rates (see our previous article announcing the increase of Casual Penalty Rates under the SCHADS Award). The SCHADS Award, as it currently stands, provides for weekend and public holiday penalty rates to be paid in substitution for the casual loading.

The FWC had proposed, in the September decision, to increase the overtime rates for casuals in full, from 1 December 2019, and to phase in the weekend and public holiday penalty rates for casuals in two instalments, the first on 1 December 2019 and the second, on 1 July 2020. Parties were directed to file submissions in relation to this proposal and the matter was heard on 14 October 2019.

On 18 October 2019, the FWC handed down their decision regarding their proposal on the timing of the increases. In this decision, they decided not to proceed with their proposal, and instead provide that increases in overtime, weekend and public holiday penalty rates for casuals, will take effect in full, from 1 July 2020.

The FWC will issue a variation determination giving effect to their decision shortly.

What this means for you

CCER advises our members to:

  • Prepare to update your payroll systems to ensure casuals are paid correctly when working weekends, public holidays and overtime from 1 July 2020.
  • Consider the increases in pay rates when rostering casuals from 1 July 2020 as there will be a direct impact on your costs and also when preparing the budget for the next financial year.
  • Consider the increased employment costs when seeking compensatory change in funding arrangements (or more specifically NDIS pricing restrictions).
  • Consider whether any changes could be made to your operations to minimise employment costs (eg. the extent to which you could substitute casual employees for permanent full time and part time employees).

CCER will continue to keep you informed of any further changes to the SCHADS Award as they occur. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to get in touch and speak with any of our Employment Relations Specialists.


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