In June 2012, Fair Work Australia (now the Fair Work Commission) made an Equal Remuneration Order to gradually increase pay rates in the SACS award.
If you’re a social and community services employer or employee in Queensland you may have additional pay obligations. See the Queensland wages page for details.
Does this affect me?
The pay increases under the Equal Remuneration Order apply to the following types of employees in the SACS award:
- social and community services employees
- crisis accommodation employees.
The pay rates also apply to employees who either:
- work on an on-hire basis in these classification streams, or
- are covered by a registered agreement, but would be covered by the SACS award in these streams if they weren’t.
The increases do not apply to employees who are in the Family Day Care and Home Care classifications.
See the Classifications section for information about the classification streams under the SACS award.
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Equal Remuneration Calculator
The Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review decision applies from 1 July each year.
From 1 December every year (from 2012 to 2020), employees covered by the Equal Remuneration Order are entitled to a portion of the total percentage increase from this order for their classification.
You can use our Equal Remuneration Calculator to find the minimum rates of pay that apply . You should do this every year on 1 July and 1 December: Equal Remuneration Calculator (xls 9MB)
Best Practice Tip
Make sure you’re using the most up-to-date version of the calculator by using the version above instead of saving it to your computer.
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How to manually calculate minimum rates
The pay rises from the Equal Remuneration Order are being introduced in 9 equal instalments over 8 years. The first instalment started on the first pay period on or after 1 December 2012 and the last will start on the first pay period on or after 1 December 2020. The total amount of the increases over the 8 years will be:
The minimum rates are calculated using the yearly ‘multiplier’ set out in the table below.
|1 December 2012
|1 December 2013
|1 December 2014
|1 December 2015
|1 December 2016
|1 December 2017
|1 December 2018
|1 December 2019
Step 1 - find the Transitional Minimum Wage
The Transitional Minimum Wage is the higher of:
- the pre-modern award rate plus the annual wage increases from 2010, 2011 and 2012; or
- the full modern award rate from 1 July 2012.
The Transitional Minimum Wage only needs to be calculated once. You can then use this rate each time you are calculating wage rates.
Step 2 – add annual wage increases to the Transitional Minimum Wage
Add the relevant annual wage increases (from 2013 onwards) to the Transitional Minimum Wage in Step 1. This will be your current Transitional Minimum Wage.
Step 3 - find the Final Rate
To find the Final Rate, find the weekly modern award rate in clause 15 of the SACS Award (make sure this is the current rate).
Then, add the full equal remuneration increase to this amount (the % in the table above).
This amount is the Final Rate.
Step 4 - find the Transitional Equal Remuneration Payment
To find the Transitional Equal Remuneration Payment, calculate the difference between the Final Rate in Step 3 and the current Transitional Minimum Wage in Step 2.
Then, divide this amount by 9 and multiply it by the ‘multiplier’ (see the multiplier table above).
This amount is called the Transitional Equal Remuneration Payment.
Step 5 - calculate the employee’s base rate of pay
Add the Transitional Equal Remuneration Payment you calculated in Step 4 to the employee’s current Transitional Minimum Wage from Step 2.
This is the rate of pay that applies.
Jill is a full-time social and community services worker in NSW working for Start Right Services Pty Ltd.
Jill’s pre-modern award was the Social and Community Services Employees (State) Award. Under this award, Jill was classified as a Community services worker grade 3, year 5. Under the SACS award, Jill’s classification is a Social and community services employee level 3 – pay point 4.
Step 1 – find the Transitional Minimum Wage
The rate of pay under Jill’s pre-modern award on 31 December 2009 was $888.44 per week. With the wage increases for 2010, 2011 and 2012 added, this rate of pay is $972.95
The SACS award rate of pay for Jill’s classification on 1 July 2012 was $826.10 per week.
Since the rate of pay under Jill’s pre-modern award was higher than the rate of pay under the modern award on 1 July 2012 Jill’s Transitional Minimum Wage is $972.95.
Step 2 – add the relevant annual wage increases to the Transitional Minimum Wage
The annual wage increase on 1 July 2013 was 2.6%. Add 2.6% to Jill’s Transitional Minimum Wage to find her current Transitional Minimum Wage.
$972.95 + 2.6% = $998.25
Step 3 – find the Final Rate
In clause 15 of the SACS award, from 1 July 2013, the weekly rate of pay for a Social and community services employee level 3 – pay point 4 is $847.60
Add the full percentage increase. For level 3, this is 26%
Jill’s Final Rate is $847.60 + 26% = $1067.98
Step 4 – find the Transitional Equal Remuneration Payment
Calculate the difference between the Final Rate (step 3) and the current Transitional Minimum Wage (step 2).
$1067.98 - $998.25 = $69.73
Divide by 9 and multiply by 1 (which is the multiplier from 1 December 2012)
Jill’s Transitional Equal Remuneration Payment is ($69.73 ÷ 9) x 1 = $7.75.
Step 5 – calculate Jill’s base rate of pay from 1 July 2013
Add the Transitional Equal Remuneration Payment (step 4) to the current Transitional Minimum Wage (step 2).
Jill’s base rate of pay from 1 July 2013 is $998.25 + $7.75 = $1006.00
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What about loadings and penalty rates?
The Equal Remuneration Order doesn’t affect penalty rates and loadings for employees in the Social and Community Services and Crisis Accommodation classification streams. You can calculate penalty rates for your employees by using our Equal Remuneration Calculator (xls 9MB) . For more information about how to calculate the loadings and penalty rates that apply to your employees, see your Pay and Conditions Guide or Schedule A of the SACS Award.