Award Categorisation Rules

SupportAbility does not perform full award interpretation of the award to calculate things like overtime, loadings and pay rates. SupportAbility performs Staff Time Sheet categorisation, rather than full award interpretation. In addition, many payroll systems such as MYOB and Xero cannot perform award interpretation either, so if award interpretation is something you require, you can view your options here.

Audience: Authorised Representatives, Finance Team. 


As per the SupportAbility Roadmap article linked below for reference, all Award Categorisation functionality will be removed from the SupportAbility product in the near future. We recommend that providers utilising this current functionality,  firstly understand its flaws and limitations, and secondly start planning and making alternative arrangements to utilise other tools for the purposes of processing Time Sheets in alignment with awards.

There are several payroll solutions in the marketplace which provide comprehensive and specialist award interpretation and payroll functionality, over and above anything SupportAbility could ever hope to offer. Disability services require sophisticated payroll functionality to manage their obligations under the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Award (SCHCADS), the Victorian Disability Services Multi Employment Agreement and any other binding Awards or Employment Agreements. Regrettably, SupportAbility is not the right product to deliver this functionality. 

In the same way that SupportAbility sends invoice data to the organisation's finance system to manage the responsibilities around invoice distribution and accounts receivable, SupportAbility will only export pure Staff time and attendance data for payroll systems to perform award interpretation and generate payroll.

To clarify our reasoning for this, we will begin by providing an overview of the history of this feature. Not long after the SupportAbility Activities module was released back in March 2015, we were asked by a Victorian-based provider to develop a simplified version of Award Interpretation for timesheet data against the SCHCADS award. Initially, this most basic level of level interpretation, which we labelled 'Award Categorisation', was designed to meet the award interpretation needs of this singular provider who only operated in standard business hours and did not have requirements around managing allowances, shift loadings and penalties under the award.

As our subscriber base grew, we realised that other providers across the country shared this requirement, and so we released the Award Categorisation functionality as standard functionality. However, since then we have become aware of issues with the way in which SupportAbility's Award Categorisation functionality categorises time according to the SCHCADS award. We undertook an extensive research project and engaged consultants to help us understand the complexities and intricacies of the SCHCADS award and the scope of work required to fix the issues.

The result of this research project highlighted that the problem was infinitely more complex than SupportAbility's Award Categorisation was ever designed to solve. What was originally designed to act as a quick solution for providers, was going to take our Engineering team over 6-12 months to bring into compliance with the award. Furthermore, award interpretation and payroll generation is primarily the role of the Payroll system and not SupportAbility, which is a first and foremost a Client Management System.

We are notifying providers well in advance to allow them to find, review, pilot and implement alternative solutions to solve these issues and their requirements.

Award Categorisation

SupportAbility categorises Staff shifts based on the following rules:

  1. If any part of the shift is between 8:00 pm and 12:00 am, the entire shift is allocated to Evening Shift and no other rules are applied e.g:
  2. If the Staff Members shift is between 12:00 am and 6:00 am SupportAbility automatically allocates that time as Inactive Night Shift hours. Some or all of that time can be set as an 'Active Night Shift' by entering the relevant number of hours into the Active Night Shift allocation field: 

    N.B. If the shift duration extends beyond 6:00 am, these hours will be categorised accordingly e.g. Standard Hours
  3. All Saturday is time allocated as Time and a Half
    N.B. There is a current known issue whereby SupportAbility is not categorising Saturday hours correctly when any part of the shift falls after 8pm. It is categorising this as 'Evening Hours'
  4. All Sunday is time allocated as Double Time
    N.B. There is a current known issue whereby SupportAbility is not categorising Sunday hours correctly when any part of the shift falls after 8pm. It is categorising this as 'Evening Hours'
  5. All-time that falls outside the bounds of these rules is allocated as Standard Time

The current areas in SupportAbility that include Award Categorisation details are as follows: 

  • Generating and viewing Time Sheet Batches
  • Download Detailed Time Sheets export
  • Download Summary Time Sheets export
  • Download Time Sheet Batch for MYOB AccountRight
  • Download Time Sheet Batch for HR3

How can our organisation utilise this data?

As you may notice from the points listed above, there are some known inaccuracies that may occur regarding Staff Time Sheet hours being categorised incorrectly in the case of weekend shifts that occur after 8 pm being categorised as 'Evening Hours' incorrectly. 

No further work is being undertaken in this area until this time to correct this due to our intention to remove this functionality eventually. In the interim, providers can continue to rely on Time Sheet Batches to accurately report the  number of hours Staff Members have worked for the reporting period. However, it is recommended to review the distribution of those hours across the different Award Categorisation types manually to ensure they are accurate based on your organisation's needs and amend where required, prior to forwarding the data to your Payroll department.

This can be completed by downloading the 'Detailed Time Sheets' export available from the Actions menu:

This export provides details about each Staff Time Sheet and can be used to review each Shift line item per Staff Member, making manual categorisation adjustments where required, for example, e.g. moving any hours incorrectly categorised as 'Evening Hours' to 'Inactive Night Shift', 'Time and a Half Hours' (Saturday), or 'Double Time Hours' (Sunday) as required. 

You may find the instructions outlined in the Exporting a Time Sheet Batch section of the Generating a Time Sheet Batch article useful as it steps through exporting the 'Detailed Time Sheet' export which contains each of the Staff Time Sheets.

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