Understanding Equal Pay * Part One

Responding to industrial
reforms and policy
Lisa Darmanin,
Assistant Secretary,
ASU Vic/Tas Branch
Two big changes in 2012 affecting pay (&
conditions) in the sector:
For most community & disability sector workers nationally,:
1. Transition to the Modern Award;
Transition to the Equal Pay Case rates of pay
(Equal Remuneration Order)
What did the Equal Pay Case Achieve for the
Acknowledgment that the work is under-valued, that this is related to
gender and should be remedied.
What are the ERO increases?
• 19-41% on top of Award (industry minimum) rates of pay
• + 4% loading
• + Annual Minimum Wage Review amounts
Scope of the Equal Remuneration Order (ERO)
Reminder that the definition of Social and Community Services
Sector means the provision of social and community services
including social work, recreation work, welfare work, youth work or
community development work, including organisations which primarily
engage in policy, advocacy or representation on behalf of
organisations carrying out such work and the provision of disability
services including the provision of personal care and domestic and
lifestyle support to a person with a disability in a community and/or
residential setting including respite centre and day services.
The equal remuneration case also applies to the crisis assistance and
supported housing sector.
What Happens When?
Key Dates:
July 1 2012 – Modern Award Classification Structure is Active +
Award Annual Min Wage Review Increase
Annual Minimum Wage Review will continue to apply in July
every year.
December 1 2012 - ERO decision phase-in begins
These increases occur annually in nine instalments 2012-2020.
Equal Pay increases:
Increases by level:
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Level 5
Level 6
Level 7
Level 8
+ 23%
+ 26%
+ 32%
+ 37%
+ 40%
+ 42%
+ 45%
Total increase to Modern Award Rates in 9 equal instalments over 8 years.
To calculate:
To calculate the increase:
- subtract the current rate from the ‘final rate’ and then divided that 9.
Where the current SACS rate is lower than the translated SCHCADS Award,
the SCHADS Award rate applies.
Where the current SACS “transitional” rate is higher, take the ‘final rate’,
subtract the current SACS “transitional” rate and divide by 9.
trans rate
Final rate
Final rate
– current
by 9
1 Dec
2012 pay
SW 2,1
SW 3,3
Classification Descriptors
• Generic skills and responsibilities
• Evaluate core skill & responsibility
requirements of the position (not the
person), against the classification
• Each position should be considered
individually – a practical approach is to
ensure the position description is accurate
and use that as the starting point;
Classification Translation
• Wage rates are not the basis for translation;
• It is possible for two positions at the same
current classification to translate to different
levels, if they have different duties and
different skill and responsibility
requirements; and
• It is also possible for two positions currently
at different levels to end up at the same level
in the modern award.
• Experience and Qualifications considered
Classification Translation
• Ensure accurate PD
• Use Guides as a starting point to identify
potential classification levels
• Review the PD against at least 2 potential
classification levels
• Holistic approach, subject to some
mandatory requirements (eg entry levels for
certain qualifications)
Translation Guides
• Only a starting point
– not a substitute for assessing skills and
responsibilities using the classification
definitions of the award
• Indicative roles based on
– Evidence in equal pay cases
– Skill levels
• Translation guides assume positions already
correctly classified
Can a rate of pay go down? No, employers cannot reduce
wages as a result of translation.
What happens if an employee is not translated/ doesn’t
agree with translation post 1 July 2012?
They can appeal – FWO +/or FWA
What if an Enterprise Agreement applies?
Reclassification may not immediately change an employee’s
wage rate, and won’t displace the entitlements received an
EA, but the Modern Award classification is a safety net & will
determine minimum entitlements to Equal Pay increases.
Once Equal Pay rates pass an EBA rate, the Equal Pay rates
apply. A pay rate under an Enterprise Agreement cannot be
less than the Award rate.
Funding Supplementation
Federal Government committed to fully funding their share
– both direct program funding and funding provided to
To receive supplementation, organisations must:
• Certify they had eligible SACS workers on 1 Feb 2012
• Agree they will use the adjustment to meet wage
increases imposed under the order
• Accept the funding offer
Extensive information is available at
Funding Supplementation
• The Victorian Government has committed funds towards the
ERO increases to the extent of their 12/13 budget
• Consultation on implementation of the Commonwealth
commitment is a separate process – still going
1. Ensure accurate Position Descriptions
2. Complete process of classification translation
3. Calculate workforce entitlements to Equal Pay
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