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Hot Topic Follow-Up: Sleepovers in the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry (SCHCADS) Award 2010

 

Updated 30 April 2021

HR/IR update for all NDS members

 

We recently provided a compliance reminder regarding the sleepover allowance under the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry (SCHCADS) Award 2010. You can access the original workplace relations update here. You can also refer to the Fair Work Commission website here.

 

The sleepover allowance clause and the night shift rate clause were both included in the original SCHCADS Award issued by the Fair Work Commission on 4th December 2009. You can review and compare the relevant sections of the original modern award from 2009 and the current modern award from 2020 here.

 

Some disability providers may have applied the night shift rate and the sleepover allowance incorrectly. Providers can address any calculation errors by considering the following:

 

The correct calculations for a sleepover allowance and shift allowance penalty rates

 

  • The employee must be rostered on for either four hours before or after the sleepover or be paid for four hours at the night shift rate.

 

  • Section 25.7(d) of the SCHCADS Award states “The employee will be entitled to a sleepover allowance of 4.9% of the standard rate for each night on which they sleep over.” As defined in the Award, “standard rate means the minimum wage for a Social and community services employee Level 3 at pay point 3 in clause 15.3”.

 

  • As the employee will be on the shift which includes the sleepover after 12 midnight and before 6am, the work performed is paid at night shift rates.

 

  • The Award states “Shifts are to be worked in one continuous block of hours that may include meal breaks and sleepover”.  
     

  • A sleepover spans eight continuous hours of rest time. If the employee works during the sleepover time, they must be paid a minimum of 1 hour at the prescribed overtime rate. The prescribed overtime rate differs depending on the employee’s role. Refer to examples 3 and 4 below.

Example 1:

 

Suzie is rostered to work a sleepover. She must be either offered 4 hours paid work at night shift rates (15% loading), either before or after the sleepover.

 

If Suzie is not rostered to work these 4 hours, she must be paid for a minimum of four hours at the night shift rate (15% loading) as well as the sleepover payment of 4.9% of the standard rate.

 

Suzie’s base hourly rate is Level 4 at pay point 3 $29.20

 

Night shift rate calculation ($29.20 + ($29.20x15%) =  ($29.20 + $4.38) = $33.58 per hour

 

4 hours @ $33.58 = $134.32

+

Sleepover allowance of $49.30

=

Total payment for Suzie’s shift: $183.62

 

Example 2:

 

Refer to Bernie’s scenario on our original workplace relations update here, which was taken directly from the Fair Work Australia website here.
 

Example 3 - Prescribed overtime for a full-time disability services, home care and day care employee required to work during a sleepover:

 

Jenny is rostered to work 3 hours from 7pm till 10pm before a sleepover from 10pm to 6am, and 1 hour the following morning from 6am to 7am as part of her shift.

 

During the sleepover period, Jenny is required to perform 4 hours work. Jenny must be paid a minimum of 1 hour at overtime rates for any work less than or up to 1 hour, and overtime rates for all other work performed during the sleepover period.

 

Jenny’s base hourly rate is Level 4 at pay point 3 $29.20

 

Night shift rate calculation  ($29.20 + ($29.20x15%) =  ($29.20 + $4.38) = $33.58 per hour

 

3 hours @ $33.58 = $100.74

+

Sleepover allowance of $49.30

+

4 hours overtime totalling $204.40 (see Overtime Calculation below)*

+

1 hour @ $33.58 = $33.58

=

Total payment for Jenny’s shift: $388.02

 

*Overtime Calculation:

 

$29.20 x 1.5 (time and a half) for the first 2 hours = $43.80 per hour

$29.20 x 2 (double time) for any hours above the first two hours = $58.40 per hour 

 

2 hours @ $43.80 = $87.60

2 hours @ $58.40 = $116.80

 

Total overtime hours = $204.40

 

Example 4 - Prescribed overtime for a full-time social and community services and crisis accommodation employee required to work during a sleepover:

 

Helen is rostered to work 3 hours from 7pm till 10pm before a sleepover from 10pm to 6am, and 1 hour the following morning from 6am to 7am as part of her shift.

 

During the sleepover period, Helen is required to perform 4 hours work. Helen must be paid a minimum of 1 hour at overtime rates for any work less than or up to 1 hour and overtime rates for all other work performed during the sleepover period.

 

Helen’s base hourly rate is Level 4 at pay point 3 $29.20

 

Night shift rate calculation  ($29.20 + ($29.20x15%) =  ($29.20 + $4.38) = $33.58 per hour

 

3 hours @ $33.58 = $100.74

+

Sleepover allowance of $49.30

+

4 hours overtime totalling $189.80 (see Overtime Calculation below)#

+

1 hour @ $33.58= $33.58

=

Total payment for Helen’s shift: $373.42

 

#Overtime Calculation:

 

$29.20 x 1.5 (time and a half) for the first 3 hours = $43.80 per hour

$29.20 x 2 (double time) for any hours above the first three  hours = $58.40 per hour 

 

3 hours @ $43.80 = $131.40

1 hour @ $58.40= $58.40

 

Total overtime hours = $189.80


Providers must apply the award provisions correctly. The penalties for underpaying your employees have never been higher. In a recent example, one provider must now back-pay staff more than $1.5 million after entering into an Enforceable Undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman. Read the media release here.

 

It is highly recommended that the following steps are implemented as a matter of priority:

  1. Ensure you understand the Award provisions for a sleepover.

  2. Immediately commence paying your current employees correctly, i.e. next pay cycle.

  3. Complete a full audit of all employees who have worked sleepovers since the inception of these provisions in the Award.

  4. Calculate any amounts owing and pay your employees accordingly.

 

When conducting an audit of sleepover shifts and calculating any amounts owing, we would suggest that you go back as far as the employee or employees have been employed and take the following areas into consideration:

 

  • Which sleepover shifts have they done?

  • From and to what times?

  • Which dates?

  • What were they paid?

  • What should they have been paid?

  • What is the difference?

  • Total this up and pay them.

 

It is also important to be transparent with any impacted employees by thoughtfully communicating what has occurred and the steps you are taking to rectify the errors.

 

For more information and tailored assistance, please contact us today via NDS’s professional advisory services online form.

WorkPlacePLUS provides Human Resources/Industrial Relations support to NDS members and associates. You can receive a free initial half-hour phone consultation via our IR/HR advisory service. Please complete NDS’s professional advisory services online form to submit your IR/HR query. 

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