Changes to the Aboriginal Health Award

Published 4 January 2021

As part of its Modern Award Review, the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) has made some changes to the Aboriginal Health Award.

The changes include:

The changes apply from 1 January 2021.

What are the changes?

New title

The Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services Award is now the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Practitioners and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services Award.

Expanded coverage

The award only previously covered employers and employees in the Aboriginal community controlled health services industry.

The award now also covers Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health workers and/or health practitioners and their employers on an occupational basis. It covers those who work in private practice.

The expanded coverage on an occupational basis also applies to:

  • on-hire labour employees and the employers that supply them
  • group training trainees and the group training services that engage them.

The award does not cover employees covered by the Nurses Award or the Medical Practitioners Award.

New classification structure for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health worker, health practitioner and community health worker employees

The new classification structure divides the existing Grade 1 entry-level classification into two grades. There are now five grades instead of four (clause 16.1(a) and Schedule A).

New clauses on staff progression, recognition of previous service and evidence of qualification

The new clauses on previous service and evidence of qualification determine where new employees will be placed on the salary scale (clauses 12.4 and 12.5).

The new clause on progression determines how employees move through the grades of the classification structure (clause 12.3).

New allowances

The Commission has introduced new allowances:

  • telephone allowance (clause 18.3(d))
  • nauseous work allowance (clause 18.2(b))
  • blood count allowance (clause 18.3(e))
  • replacement, cleaning or repair to damaged clothing allowance (clause 18.3(f))
  • medication administration allowance (clause 18.2(c)).

Ceremonial leave expanded

The ceremonial leave clause now recognises bereavement-related ceremonies and obligations as ceremonial purposes (clause 26).

Employees continue to be entitled to 10 days of unpaid leave for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander ceremonial purposes.

New paid rest breaks

Employees are now entitled to paid rest breaks during:

  • shifts of 7.6 hours or more: two 10-minute rest breaks
  • shifts of less than 7.6 hours: one 10-minute rest break in each four-hour period (clause 15.2).

Employees are now entitled to a 20 minute paid break every two hours when the:

  • temperature exceeds 46 degrees C
  • employee has worked for more than two hours (clause 15.3).

More information

The Aboriginal Health Award has been updated to include the changes.

You can read the Commission’s full decision external-icon.png and the determination external-icon.png varying the Aboriginal Health Award.

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