[2019] FWCFB 3151


Fair Work Act 2009

s.156 - 4 yearly review of modern awards

4 yearly review of modern awards—Group 4—Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010



4 yearly review of modern awards – award stage – group 4 awards – substantive issues – Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 – draft survey.

[1] During proceedings in the above matter, a ‘draft survey’ was prepared and circulated to interested parties for consultation. A Statement was issued on 2 May 2019 1 dealing with a number of written submissions that had been received in relation to the contents of the draft survey. A number of amendments were made to the draft survey as a result of the 2 May 2019 Statement, and parties were provided a further opportunity to comment on the amendments.

[2] Further submissions were received from:

  Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) 2;

  Australian Business Industrial (ABI) 3;

  Australian Federation of Employers and Industry (AFEI) 4; and

  Health Services Union (HSU) 5

[3] A conference is listed for 4.30 pm on Wednesday 8 May 2019. This Statement has been prepared to address the submissions filed and to facilitate discussion at the conference.

[4] The submissions received from Ai Group and ABI address the same point, that is, whether the survey should be completed by employers who currently have an enterprise agreement in place. We see no reason why the survey should not be completed by employers currently covered an enterprise agreement. The introductory text in the draft survey relating to enterprise agreements has been removed, and two further questions included in the draft survey as follows:

‘XX. Are your employees currently covered by an enterprise agreement?

☐Yes ☐ No

XX. Does your enterprise agreement cover all of your SCHADS Award covered employees?

☐Yes ☐ No’

[5] The question of the weight to be attached to the responses from employers covered by an enterprise agreement is a separate issue. That matter can be addressed by all parties in their response to the survey results.

[6] In their submission, AFEI point out that the expressions currently used in the survey indicate it is directed to an individual rather than an organisation, and that this should be amended (i.e. use of the term ‘you’ in the introductory text). We see no reason to make the change sought.

[7] AFEI also submit that it is opposed to the inclusion of the list of sectors on page 1 and 2 of the survey. It submits that it may be misleading and unnecessary for a number of reasons, including that the list is not drawn directly from the Award, the list includes broad operations, and that the Commission may be expressing a conclusion about interpretation of coverage. We do not agree with the submission of AFEI and the list of sectors will remain in the survey. If any party has any additions to the list they may raise these at the conference.

[8] In relation to question 5.1 (now appearing at question 5.2), AFEI submit that the question be reframed to ask ‘did any of your casual employees work in excess of 38 hours per week or 76 hours per fortnight?’ 6 The question currently refers to working 38 hours per week only. We agree and will amend the question as proposed by AFEI.

[9] AFEI further submit that in relation to questions 7 and 10, survey participants be instructed to ‘tick all relevant boxes’. We agree that this instruction should be added to question 7, but we do not agree that it should be added to question 10. It is true that larger organisations may span across all areas, however the question asks the respondent to highlight only the ‘primary’ location.

[10] The HSU submit that the definition of ‘home care’ under the list of sectors could be misleading or confusing in the context of the survey and that it should be removed. The HSU submit the ‘home care’ sector has a specific meaning under the SCHADS Award and it applies predominantly to aged care, and generally not to care provided to people with a disability.  The definition is derived directly from definitions and interpretation clause in the SCHADS Award, and we do not propose to amend it.

[11] To enhance the clarity around the questions contained in the draft survey a number of questions have been refined. A revised survey will be published concurrently with this Statement for discussion at the conference. Amendments will be highlighted in red text.

How the survey will work

[12] It is proposed that the survey be administered via an online survey platform, and a link will be sent to each party via email (from surveyresearch@fwc.gov.au). This email will be able to be forwarded by each party to their members. Instructions for completing the survey and an FWC contact will be included in the email.

[13] Survey respondents will be able to save the survey and come back to it at a later time, which will be particularly useful if they need to obtain and consult employment records.

[14] Survey responses will only be able to be accessed by the Commission.

[15] We propose to include a question in the survey asking the survey respondent to identify the organisation to which they belong. We further propose to include a field in the survey for the participating enterprises to identify themselves. The information collected by the Commission about the enterprises that completed the survey will be used for the sole purpose of identifying enterprises who have not completed the survey and who may be required to attend the Commission to give evidence. Enterprises that have identified themselves and completed the survey would not be required to attend the Commission. All survey data will be analysed and presented in aggregate form and will not identify any of the enterprises that completed the survey.

[16] The administration of the survey will be discussed further at the conference listed for 4.30 pm on Wednesday 8 May 2019.


Printed by authority of the Commonwealth Government Printer


 1   [2019] FWCFB 2987

 2   Ai Group submission, 6 May 2019

 3   ABI submission, 6 May 2019

 4   AFEI submission, 6 May 2019

 5   HSU submission 7 May 2019

 6   AFEI submission, 6 May 2019 at para 3