A Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission consisting of Deputy President Ingrid Asbury and Deputy President Bernadette O’Neill and Commissioner Michelle Bissett noted, “that the evidence establishes that the relevant existing minimum wage rates in the Awards do not properly compensate direct care workers in either residential or in-home aged care settings, for the value of the work performed.”
The Full Bench ruled the pay rise should apply to more people working in aged care than previously decided, with the Health Services Union and others backing an extension to include personal care workers, recreational officers/ recreational activities officers, and chefs/cooks.
The Full Bench also noted “that the determination of an interim increase for direct aged care workers would not conclude its consideration of the unions’ claim for a 25 percent increase for other employees, namely administrative and support aged care employees, nor did it necessarily exhaust the extent of the increase justified by work value reasons in respect of direct aged care workers.”
The Full Bench also stated that the decision has taken into account, the rate of the national minimum wage as currently set in a national wage order.
This decision to award wage increases to aged care workers is long overdue and will help to address the critical workforce of recruitment and retention in the sector.
The issue that is foremost in the mind of aged care providers is whether these wage increases will be fully funded by the Federal Government.
Jobs Australia will soon be seeking feedback from Members to enable us to advocate and represent Members on the anticipated impact, and to seek an understanding of the planned funding, arising from this decision of a wage increase.
Draft determinations giving effect to the interim increase will be published with this decision no later than Wednesday 1 March 2023.
Link to a copy of the decision is below:
Aged Care Award 2010, Nurses Award 2020, Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010  FWCFB 40 (21 February 2023)