The Albanese Labor Government’s second Budget will deliver a record 15% pay increase for aged care workers across Australia.
The biggest ever pay rise for aged care workers will benefit more than 250,000 people and reflects the intent of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s final report to improve remuneration for aged care staff.
This is a key part of our plan to create more opportunities for more Australians by investing in health and aged care.
Registered nurses, enrolled nurses, assistants in nursing, personal care workers, head chefs and cooks, recreational activities officers (lifestyle workers) and home care workers will see a an historic increase to their award wages.
As a result of this boost to aged care wages:
- a registered nurse on a level 2.3 award wage will be paid an additional $196.08 a week (more than $10,000 a year)
- an enrolled nurse on a level 2 award wage will be paid an additional $145.54 a week (more than $7,500 a year)
- an assistant in nursing on a level 3 award wage will be paid an additional $136.68 a week (more than $7,100 a year)
- a personal care worker on a level 4 (aged care award) or a home care worker on a level 3.1 (SCHADS award) will be paid an additional $141.10 a week (more than $7,300 a year)
- a recreational activity officer on a level 3 (aged care award) will be paid an additional $139.54 a week (more than $7,200 a year)
- a head chef/cook on a level 4 (aged care award) will be paid an additional $141.12 a week (more than $7,300 a year)
- a staff member with a Certificate III qualification moves from earning only $940 per week to $1,082.
Aged care is physically and emotionally demanding work and this 15% pay rise means a staff member with a Certificate III qualification moves from earning only $940 per week to $1,082.
Tuesday’s Budget will include $11.3 billion over 4 years to fund the outcome of the Fair Work Commission’s 15% pay rise for aged care workers from 1 July 2023.
This important investment is a positive step to improving women’s pay in general as women make up more than 85% of Australia’s aged care workforce.
For residential aged care, the AN-ACC price will be increased from 1 July 2023 to $243.10 based on advice from the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority.
This will cover the wage rises for direct care staff including lifestyle workers.
A new hotelling supplement of $10.80 per resident per day will be established, which includes funding to cover the pay rise for head chefs and cooks.
For the Home Care Packages program, the value of packages will be increased to allow for increased wages to be paid.
The government’s commitment to boosting the workforce also includes fee-free TAFE, more university places, student clinical placements, extended visas and training programs.
These initiatives will help relieve workforce pressures and support the sector to increase average care minutes and ensure a nurse is available 24/7.
Quotes attributable to Treasurer Jim Chalmers:
“Every worker deserves a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and that’s what this will deliver for thousands in aged care across the country.
“For too long, those working in aged care have been asked to work harder for longer without enough reward but with this Budget, that changes.
“The Albanese Labor Government’s second Budget will create more opportunities for more Australians to get ahead – including those in the care economy.
“This investment recognises the incredible contribution that aged care workers make to our economy and community and will help to create a bigger incentive for young Australians looking for a rewarding career to pick aged care in the future.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Aged Care, Anika Wells:
“This record $11.3 billion investment is a historic and deserved pay rise for a workforce undervalued for far too long.
“Fair wages play a major role in attracting and retaining workers to provide around the clock care for some of Australia’s most vulnerable people.
“This wage decision will help more women and families to make ends meet, and ensure that quality aged care workers are less likely to contemplate leaving the sector because of pay concerns.
“We are ambitious for aged care and the Albanese Government’s funding will help restore dignity to older people, just as the Royal Commission asked us to.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Aged Care, Mark Butler:
“This pay rise is history making. The Albanese Government’s investment funds the largest ever wage increase for the aged care sector.
“Our commitment is long overdue recognition of the skilled work our aged care workers deliver day in, day out.
“The Albanese Government will fund these fairer wages and the on-costs, to see the value of our aged care workforce reflected in the pay packets of more than 250,000 workers.