On 9 January 2019, the Fair Work Commission handed down two separate significant Decisions amending clauses under the Nurses Award 2010 and the Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010 (HPSS).

The following clauses have been updated under the Nurses Award 2010:

  • Recall to work when on-call/ Recall to work when not on call – an employee is entitled to an overtime payment of the greater of 1 hour or actual time worked (to the nearest 15 minutes), when recalled to duty to perform work remotely.
  • Free from duty and on-call – confirmation that on-call periods are considered ‘on-duty’ and cannot coincide with rostered days off.
  • Rest breaks between rostered work – an employee must be provided with 10 hours between rostered shifts. By agreement, this can be reduced to 8 hours.
  • Meal breaks – confirmation that meal breaks should be taken between the fourth and sixth hour of a shift and that employees can work up to 6 hours without a break by agreement. New clause also confirms that if an employee is required to remain available during a meal break, they will be paid at ordinary rates, however this time will not count as ordinary hours.
  • Rostering – confirmation that rosters can be amended with less than 7 days’ notice if an employee is absent due to personal/carers leave, compassionate leave or family and domestic violence leave.

Relevant to aged care employers, the HPSS Award will see variations to the following clauses:

  • Rostering – confirmation that rosters can be amended with less than 7 days’ notice if an employee is absent due to personal/carers leave, compassionate leave or family and domestic violence leave.
  • Shift work – variations confirm shift work penalties are substituted when other penalty rates are applicable (i.e. weekends, public holidays) and that casuals are paid a straight 40% loading for performing shift work with no additional casual loading.
  • Weekend penalties – new clause provides confirmation that a full or part-time employee will be paid their ordinary rate of pay plus a 50% loading for working weekends. Previously the clause referred to day workers.
  • Meal breaks – confirmation that by agreement, employees can work up to 6 hours without a break.

The new clauses will take effect from the first full pay period on or after 9 January 2019. The variations only affect Employers operating under Modern Awards.

Both Awards are yet to be updated with the new clauses. We expect this will occur in the near future. In the interim, the new clauses can be found in the Determinations for the Nurses Award 2010 and the HPSS Award issued by the FWC.

For further information, contact the LASA Employment Relations team at ERMailbox@lasa.asn.au or on 1300 111 636.