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Health Professionals and Support Services Award: Complete Guide 2022

4 min read ·  

Updated July 1st 2022, to reflect the latest Health Professionals and Support Services Award rates. These rates come into effect in the first full payrun after July 1.

Anyone who’s worked in the Health Sector knows that it’s crucial to have a strong team supporting doctors and nurses. The Health Professionals and Support Services Award is the instrument that governs the pay for these workers. It covers medical support roles, like stenographers, imaging administration, and medical secretaries.

About the Health Professionals and Support Services Award MA000027

Award rates cover millions of employees in Australia’s biggest industries. The idea is that the Fair Work Commission sets the pay rate to give a fair day’s pay, but without making businesses unprofitable. Each year, Fair Work will listen to business groups, unions, and economists before deciding what the rates for each award should be.

The Health Professionals and Support Services Award is a set of pay rules for people employed in medical centres and hospitals. It covers a significant amount of support staff but excludes doctors and nurses. You cannot pay your staff below these set rates.

The jobs covered by the award are administration-related, like medical secretary, stenographer, and imaging administration. Having said that, the award also covers payroll clerks, gardeners, and other support roles. You should check Fair Work’s award finder if you’re unsure what Award covers your employee.

The Award omits several medical jobs. Nurses and doctors who are professionally qualified have their pay determined differently. Employees on Enterprise Bargaining Agreements are also not covered.

Limitations of The Award System

There are 122 Modern Awards with hundreds of different rules in each Award. Many of the Awards have similar names and can cover similar roles, leading to many businesses paying people under the wrong award. For example, a pub might think they’re covered by the Food, Beverage, and Tobacco Manufacturing Award, but they’re actually covered by the Hospitality Award.

So, why are there so many Awards? Australians have prioritised the “fair go” for workers. Awards are designed to give every worker a fair day’s pay in their industry, including the Health Professionals and Support Services Award. Simplifying the system by reducing the number of Awards could see some people worse off, so there are unlikely to be changes anytime soon. The complexity means you need to review and interpret Awards thoroughly. Small errors could result in a worker being given the wrong pay, leaving your business open to major fines.

General Health Professionals and Support Services Award Pay Rates

Below are the minimum Health Professionals and Support Services Award pay rates for 2021 for the various levels of employment. The current rule set came into effect on the 1st of September 2021. 

LevelHourly PaySaturdaySundayPublic Holiday
Level 1$14.18$19.85$19.85$31.19

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$11.34

$17.01

$17.01

$28.35

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$17.00

$23.80

$23.80

$37.40

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$13.60

$20.40

$20.40

$34.00

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$19.84

$27.77

$27.77

$43.64

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$15.87

$23.81

$23.81

$39.68

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$22.68

$31.75

$31.75

$49.89

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$18.14

$27.21

$27.21

$45.35

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$25.50

$35.70

$35.70

$56.10

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$20.40

$30.60

$30.60

$51

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$22.67

$34.01

$34.01

$56.68

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$28.34

$39.67

$39.67

$62.34

Keeping compliant with Fair Work legislation

With hundreds of Awards and rules, pay rates and entitlements can change pretty regularly. This creates a messy situation where you’ll need to constantly update pay rates throughout the year to stay compliant with the Health Professionals and Support Services Award. This can be done by using Fair Work’s calculator to look up entitlements, but for many businesses, it’s far too complicated.

Modern Workforce Management Systems can simplify this process. Award interpretation is often built in, automatically updating and adding entitlements throughout the year. Employees can use a unique code to clock in and out of work, allowing their exact working hours to be recorded. This allows them to be paid accurately for the exact time they work. Digital systems also automatically update pay rates for things like birthdays.

Running a digital Workforce Management System will remove complicated calculations and give you certainty. Systems like Tanda will also keep your records on file for the required seven years, so you can immediately produce documents if Fair Work audits you. This allows you to focus on what you should be doing – managing your business.

It’s also important to ensure your rosters are compliant with the law and optimise your business performance. Tanda’s rostering experts have written a guide that outlines best-practice rostering so you can stay compliant.

Classifying employees under the Clerks Award

For a complete guide on classifying staff, you should look at Fair Work’s advice. But, for a basic run down of the different positions employees can have, see below:

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

  • Usually works, on average, 38 hours each week.
  • Can be a permanent employee or on a fixed-term contract.

PART-TIME EMPLOYEES

  • On average work less than 38 hours per week.
  • Commonly work regular hours each week.
  • Can be a permanent employee or on a fixed-term contract.

CASUAL EMPLOYEES

  • Are employed with the understanding that there is no firm advance commitment to ongoing work with an agreed pattern of work.

Casual conversion

Recent changes to Australian Law allow some casuals to become full-time or part-time. A casual is eligible if they’ve working with the business for a year, and have had consistent hours for six months. However, there are many exceptions to this rule. For a full guide you should look at Tanda’s breakdown of casual conversion.

The Health Professionals and Support Services Award includes casual conversion and you should take this into account when designing your roster. When an employee becomes permanent they become entitled to sick leave and annual leave. This liability goes onto the balance sheet of your business and could change your financial structure.

Penalties and allowances

The Health Professionals and Support Services Award contains various penalties and allowances for some types of work. For example, if an employee works on a public holiday, weekend, or late at night, they’re paid penalty rates, which are higher rates per hour. Likewise, if they work more than their shift, they’re paid overtime. It’s important to remember that penalty rates and overtime are very different.

There are other entitlements that employees can be eligible for too. This includes things like a uniform allowance, higher duties, meals, and other typical benefits. For a full list of allowances, click here.

Leave entitlements

The Health Professionals and Support Services Award has the same leave arrangements as the vast majority of Australian Awards. These are dictated by the National Employment Standards. Typically, it means that part-time and full-time employees receive annual leave. Casual workers are not entitled to leave, but receive an extra 25% pay per hour in return.

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

  • Are entitled to paid leave including annual leave and sick & carer’s leave.

PART-TIME EMPLOYEES

  • Are entitled to paid leave including annual leave and sick & carer’s leave.

CASUAL EMPLOYEES

  • Are not entitled to paid leave, including annual leave and sick & carer’s leave.
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