The Australian

Fair Work Commission Grants Up To 28 Per Cent Increase For Aged Care Sector

The Fair Work Commission has approved a wage rise of up to 28 per cent for the entire sector, following a years-long battle spearheaded by the Health Services Union (HSU).

The decision, prompted by a work value case initiated by the HSU in November 2020, sought a 25 per cent wage increase.

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Despite an interim pay rise of 15 per cent awarded to direct care employees in 2022, the HSU insisted the wages were still insufficient and emphasised the critical shortage of aged care workers and the urgent need for fair compensation.

Under the new ruling, hourly wages for direct care workers will see a significant boost of 18 to 28 per cent, including the previously granted 15 per cent rise. 

Additionally, support service workers can expect a 6.8 per cent increase in employment opportunities due to improved wages and reclassification.

HSU National President Gerard Hayes described the decision as a historic victory.

“This is an historic improvement that will usher in a new era of decency and dignity in our aged care homes,” Mr Hayes said.

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“For the last decade aged care has been held together by the goodwill and commitment of a severely underpaid, insecurely employed workforce. Today, those workers have won wage justice.”

The move aligns with recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese acknowledged the vital contributions of aged care workers.

“It is vital that our older Australians get dignity and respect in the later years. The workers who look after them deserve respect as well and they deserve better pay,” Mr Albanese said.

He pledged the government’s commitment to supporting the workforce and vowed to consider further reforms to address systemic issues.

“We have already increased aged care workers wages by 15 per cent and we will always work with our aged care workforce in order to improve the life of people who looked after this country for such a long period of time.”

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