The National Aged Care Emergency Response (NACER) mobilises experienced aged care workers from areas across Australia without community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

These teams help care for residents in aged care facilities that face staff shortages because of COVID-19.

Required staff include:

  • registered nurses
  • enrolled nurses
  • personal care workers
  • cleaners.

Why it is important

Currently, Victoria’s aged care facilities have a large number of COVID-19 cases among residents and staff.

As a result, there is an urgent need for extra support to make sure that older Australians continue to receive the care they need. 

Goals of the initiative

The National Age Care Emergency Response provides workforce support, to avoid staff shortages caused by COVID-19. The initial focus is on Victoria’s residential aged care facilities. 

Meeting these goals

We deploy experienced workers to aged care facilities for a 4-week period, followed by 2 weeks of quarantine.

Who we work with 

We have worked with the aged care industry to quickly respond to staff shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic through this initiative.

Apply to be involved

We need experienced registered nurses, enrolled nurses, personal care workers and cleaners to provide surge workforce support.

How to participate

To participate, you must:

We will supply you with:

  • uniforms and PPE
  • regular COVID-19 tests during your placement
  • access to pastoral and mental health support on the ground, as well as a dedicated coordinator to help you.

You must follow local state restrictions. Penalties apply for breaching restrictions.

After your placement, you will need to quarantine for 14 days, in line with state and territory quarantine rules. This might be in a hotel which we will arrange and pay for.

Pay and conditions

While you are on placement and in quarantine, we will temporarily employ you through Healthcare Australia (HCA). You will need to take leave without pay from your current employer. HCA will give you:

  • the casual rate for your job and any applicable loading (including weekends, time of day and public holidays), paid weekly
  • the casual rate for your 14-day quarantine
  • a $5,000 incentive payment on satisfactory completion of your placement 
  • accommodation near the service where you work, with daily transport to and from work
  • all reasonable interstate travel and accommodation to your placement location and when you return to your home state
  • all reasonable medical, accommodation and food expenses should you become ill during placement
  • an additional tax-free travel allowance of $128.70 per day during your placement and quarantine
  • 9.5% superannuation
  • full work cover
  • professional/medical indemnity insurance.

Information for employers

Ideally, aged care providers will coordinate teams of 6 workers to go on placement for 4 weeks, followed by 2 weeks of quarantine.

If you need workers to backfill, you can apply through the Aged Care Assistant Employment Program.

Related information

For more information, read the briefing packs for:


National Aged Care Emergency Response Liaison

Contact us for more information about the National Aged Care Emergency Response Program.

nacer [at] health.gov.au

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Last updated: 
16 June 2022