Client cancellation under the Social, Community, Home Care & Disability Services Award

What is a client cancellation?

Client cancellation is when a scheduled home care or disability service, to be worked by a full-time or part-time employee, is cancelled, or rescheduled by the customer. For the client cancellation provisions to apply, it must occur within 7 days of the scheduled service.

The client cancellation provisions don’t apply to casuals.

What happens when a scheduled service is cancelled?

When a service is cancelled, the employer can either:

  • direct the employee to perform other work during those hours
  • cancel the whole shift, or
  • cancel the affected part of the shift.

If a shift is cancelled, the employer has to either:

  • pay the employee the amount they would have been paid if they had worked, or
  • provide the employee with make-up time (the same amount of hours of work at another time).

If the employee is entitled to be paid more for doing other work, they’ll get paid the higher rate.

Make-up time

An employer can only provide an employee with make-up time if they give at least 12 hours’ notice of the cancellation of the original shift. If the employer doesn’t give this notice, the employee will still be paid for their hours.

If make-up time is given:

  • the employee must be given at least 7 days’ notice of the new shift, unless they agree to a shorter period
  • it must be worked within 6 weeks of the date of the cancelled service
  • the employee must have been consulted about the change to their roster
  • the employee must be paid the higher of the amount they would have been paid for the original shift or for the work they’re now doing.

The make-up time can include work with different clients or in a different role if the employee has the skills and experience to do the work.


Leo is a part-time home care employee. He’s covered by the SCHADS Award.

Leo has 2 shifts scheduled with a client for the next week. One shift is scheduled for 8am Monday and one for 8am on Tuesday, each for 3 hours.

On Sunday night at 9pm, Leo’s employer calls him saying his shifts for the next 2 days have been cancelled by the client.

As there is less than 12 hours before the Monday morning shift, Leo will still be paid for 3 hours for the Monday shift even though he won’t be working.

The employer asks Leo if he’d like to work make-up time for his Tuesday shift on Wednesday with a different client. Leo says he is happy to work make-up time the following Wednesday.

There’s no payment for Leo’s Tuesday shift as it has been cancelled more than 12 hours in advance and he was given more than 7 days’ notice for the make-up time.

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