Modern awards are industry or occupation-based minimum employment standards which apply in addition to the National Employment Standards. They were created to establish one set of minimum conditions for employers and employees across Australia who work in the same industries and occupations.
In 2008 the Federal Government made a number of changes to Australia’s Industrial Relations legislation.
One of the changes that came about was the Award Modernisation process. This affected every award in
Australia. Fair Work Australia was instructed to take all of the awards for a particular industry (in this case, the Social and Community Services Industry) and “modernise” them into one single, national award. In the community services industry there were over 40 awards that were brought together to make the SCHCADS Award
On the 1st of July 2012 the new SCHCADS (SACS Modern Award) will come into full operation. This means that the new 8 level classification structure that replaces the current 6 level structure of the SACS Award will have to be fully implemented from that date. As a result all Social, Community and Disability workers will need to be reclassified under the SCHCADS (SACS Modern Award).
Individual state Social and Community Services Award (SACS) classification structure and the SCHCADS (SACS Modern Award) classification structure can be vastly different. Under the new award structure, each individual position and worker will need to be reclassified based on their individual role responsibilities, qualifications, skills and experiences.
NCOSS, the ASU and NDS have created an easy to follow reclassification process. By following these 5 simple steps, you may find the process simpler. The dates provided are guidelines only, they are provided to ensure the efficient transfer by July 1st. You can use these steps to mark your progress and make sure you are well prepared for the July 1st deadline.
The steps are as follows
1. Prepare Your Organisation – Prepare Yourself
2. Obtain a Copy of the Agreed Classification Guide
3. Employees - Make an Application for Re-classification; Employers Make an Assessment
4. Exchange Information
5. Reconcile any difference
These steps provide a comprehensive overview on dealing with reclassification and equal pay. You can find more detailed and in-depth information via this link
VCOSS also have developed a very useful document which deals with issues and questions around the new classification, click on this link to find out more
Further reading can be found on the Jobs Australia website
See the Award Classification guide via this link
Find out what the SCHCADS Awards mean for you working in the sector via this link
Community Careers provides external benchmarking services in the Community Sector, it is not an industrial advisory body and does not give specific industrial relations advice. Our benchmarking will assist your organisation if the pay rate of the appropriate classification level is too low for market or experience reasons, and you need to make external market comparisons.