Aged care worker wage rise a positive step

Thursday, 21 March, 2024

Aged care worker wage rise a positive step

The recent wage rise handed to aged care workers will improve the lives of elderly people, according to the Australia Institute.

The case for higher pay was initially lodged by the Health Services Union in the Fair Work Commission in November 2020. At the end of 2022, the Fair Work Commission awarded an interim 15% pay rise to direct care employees.

Now, the Commission has announced further rises between 2% and 13.5% for aged care workers, effective from July 2024.

Dr Fiona Macdonald, Policy Director at the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, said the decision was crucial to supporting safe and quality care for elderly Australians, as well as the sustainability of the aged care workforce.

“For too long, aged care work has been undervalued and low paid. The Fair Work Commission’s decision to award additional pay rises, on top of an interim 15% wage rise, is vital to fixing this,” she said.

“The introduction of a new classification structure will also provide the basis for the ongoing recognition and valuation of aged care work.

“It’s essential the federal government commits to fully funding the additional increases of up to 13.5% from the start of the next financial year.

“The exclusion of indirect care workers from [the] decision is a lost opportunity to support the lowest paid workers.”

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