Award Categorisation Rules


As per the SupportAbility Roadmap article, all  Award Categorisation functionality will be removed from the SupportAbility product in the very 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 compliance obligations under the SCHADS award and SupportAbility is not the right product to deliver that functionality. 

Before Award Categorisation is removed from SupportAbility, we will be adding functionality to allow providers to configure attributes related to Staff Time Sheets (e.g. Sleepover, On call, Breaks, etc.). This information can then be included in Time Sheet Batch exports for various Payroll systems where applicable to ensure Award Interpretation can be performed as accurately as possible. 

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 on 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 time sheet data against the SCHADS 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 SCHADS award. We undertook an extensive research project and engaged consultants to help us understand the complexities and intricacies of the SCHADS 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 months to bring into compliance with the award. Furthermore, award interpretation and payroll generation is primarily the role of the Payroll system, 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 performs staff time sheet categorisation, rather than full award interpretation.

This means that SupportAbility categorises staff time 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.
  2. If any part of the shift is between 12:00 am and 6:00 am SupportAbility automatically allocates that time as Inactive Night Shift, some or all of that time can be set as Active Night Shift using the Active Night Shift allocation field on the staff member's shift on the activity record (only visible when the shift contains night shift time)
  3. All Saturday is time allocated as Time and a Half
  4. All Sunday is time allocated as Double Time
  5. All time that falls outside the bounds of these rules is allocated as Standard Time

SupportAbility does not do full award interpretation of the award to calculate things like overtime, loadings and pay rates. 

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.

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

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