Spotlight on significant award changes in 2022

19 April 2022

The four-yearly Fair Work Commission (FWC) review ended in 2020 and included a plethora of changes to many modern awards. Staying up to date is necessary to ensure you remain compliant.


Three key developments in 2022 include changes to the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services (SCHADS) Award, the classification structure of the Educational Services (Teachers) Award, and the Horticulture Award.

With significant changes ongoing, and constant scrutiny around underpayment, it remains important to act in accordance with the awards.


The SCHADS Award is a complex document, one that many employers invest time and money to understand in full. During the four-yearly review, the award was debated at length.

In 2021, the FWC considered the views of employees, unions, employers and industry organisations to implement changes to many parts of the award.

Several key changes to clauses will apply from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2022, including:

  • Clause 10: Types of employment
  • Clause 15: Minimum weekly wages for the social and community services employees and crisis accommodation employees
  • Clause 20: Allowances
  • Clause 25: Ordinary hours of work and rostering
  • Clause 28: Overtime
  • Clause 29: Shiftwork
  • Clause 31: Annual leave

Employers will need to carefully review each of the above clauses and consider how the changes will impact the way they roster, pay, and accrue leave. Many will need to update their payroll systems and practices.

Some of the changes include:

  • Minimum engagement period of two or three hours (depending on the sector) for part-time and casual employees
  • Where a part-time employee has worked more than their guaranteed hours for at least 12 months, the employee has a right to request an increase in their guaranteed hours
  • A change to the definition of broken shifts will mean a broken shift is one with either one or two breaks (maximum). The change also introduces an additional allowance of 1.7 per cent of the standard rate per broken shift if it is broken once or 2.25 per cent of the standard rate if it is broken twice
  • Where a client cancels a service for a full-time or part-time employee within seven days, there will be more onus on the employer to find equivalent work for the employee, schedule a make-up shift or pay them the full rate for the shift
  • Where an employee is required to be on-call, they will be paid an additional allowance of 2 per cent the standard rate for weekdays or 3.96 per cent for weekends and public holidays
  • A new clause will be inserted which sets out provisions related to remote work.

Given the significance of the changes and anticipated disruption to long-standing rostering practices, the Victorian Chamber recommends businesses seek advice as early as possible and start planning any adjustments to rosters and employment contracts.

We also encourage businesses to create strategic plans to ensure they are legally and financially compliant.

You may need to consider how you manage your casual and part-time workforce to balance the changes, the needs of the business and understand any financial impact. We encourage businesses to review their rostering capabilities and their operational arrangements given the changes to the award.

For a comparison between the 2010 and the 2020 SCHADS awards, please see a link to the FWC decision here.

A special briefing will be hosted by the Victorian Chamber’s workplace relations experts on 18 May 2022. Check our events page and keep up to date with the latest changes.

Educational Services (Teachers) Award

Changes to the Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2020 started on 1 January 2022 to address gender undervaluation.

The FWC found teachers, a majority female, were not receiving equal remuneration for work comparable to a male. One of the main changes is a new classification structure for all teachers covering the applicable hourly rates of pay, how the rates are to be calculated, and new rules on progression between classification levels. The updates include transitional provisions to help employers classify their employees.

We recommend employers write to employees with their updated classification.

Horticulture Award

The Horticulture Award 2020 contains provisions for three different types of employment work arrangements: hourly rate, an annualised salary or a pieceworker rate.

Changes to this award apply from the first pay period on or after 28 April 2022. These changes include an amended section 15.2, which provides:

  • A minimum hourly wage guarantee for pieceworkers
  • A requirement to record hours worked by pieceworkers
  • Clarification to the competent worker definition (used for setting a pieceworker rate).

These changes mean record keeping is going to be more important than ever for employers in the horticulture industry.

To find out about the modern awards, and how the Victorian Chamber can assist you to comply with your obligations, call our Workplace Relations Advice Line on 03 8662 5222.

HR Comply

Is compliance a priority but you don’t know where to start? VCCI HR Comply is here to help.

The Victorian Chamber’s workplace relations advisors and consultants know how much time it can take to get to grips with compliance. It takes an in-depth and expert understanding of workplace relations but it’s not a case of set and forget.

To get businesses on track, the Victorian Chamber has created a simple fixed-price solution to tackle HR compliance. HR Comply ensures you understand which award(s) cover your employees and provides a classification check, wage audit and policy review. You also get a complete set of contract templates and ongoing assistance and support. For more information, click here.


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