Aged care workers to get pay rise

Providers want pay rise for aged care staff funded by government

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MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE: More money in the pocket for aged care workers under new Fair Work Commission ruling.

MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE: More money in the pocket for aged care workers under new Fair Work Commission ruling.

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Aged care workers will get a pay rise under the Annual Wage Review Decision.

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Australia's aged care workers will receive a pay rise from the start of next month after the Fair Work Commission raised the minimum wage and increased the wage rate for those on national awards.

The Annual Wage Review Decision, handed down today gave a $40 a week increase to those currently earning below $869.60 per week (5.2 per cent) which will effect aged care employees levels1 and 2, home care employees level 1, nursing assistants years 1-3 and all student enrolled nurses.

Award wage rates currently above $869.60 per week will increase by 4.6 per cent which will effect aged care employees levels 3-7, home care employees levels 2-5, nursing assistant experienced, all enrolled nurses, all registered nurses, all nurse practitioners and all occupational health nurses.

The new National Minimum Wage is $812.60 per week. This equates to $21.38 per hour (an increase of $40.00 per week and $1.05 per hour).

The awards in the aged care sector effected are: Aged Care Award 2010, Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2020, Nurses Award 2020, Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Industry Award 2010.

Aged & Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA), the new peak body representing aged care providers, welcomed today's Fair Work Commission decision to put more money in the pockets of low-paid workers, but wants the pay rise funded by the Commonwealth Government.

Interim chief executive Paul Sadler said the inadequate indexation of Commonwealth funding may mean providers face an impossible choice between investing in quality and finding savings to keep the doors open.

"If we don't see urgent action the aged care workforce crisis is simply going to translate into other serious problems like increased closures, or offsets in other areas such as training or investment in facilities.

"A significant wage increase for our workforce is essential to attract new people and improve quality of care to older Australians, but when two-thirds of providers are already running at a loss year-on-year, we need the wage increase to be funded by the federal government," said Mr Sadler.

Paul Sadler

Paul Sadler

The Fair Work Commission is also considering an aged care work value case brought by the Health Services Union which calls for a 25 per cent increase in wages for health care workers. This is not expected to conclude until early 2023.

"ACCPA welcomes the Albanese Government's commitment to fully fund the outcome of the current Fair Work Commission aged care work value case", said Mr Sadle. "However, the work value case probably won't conclude until early 2023, while the minimum wage decision will flow from July 2022.

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