‘At least’ 15% pay rise for workers from this year, says minister

“From this year, we will deliver a pay rise of at least 15 per cent for aged care workers on the minimum award.”

In an op-ed in which the Minister for Aged Care acknowledges the second anniversary of the royal commission’s final report, Anika Wells says government will “deliver a pay rise of at least 15 per cent for aged care workers on the minimum award.”

March 1 marks two years since the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s shocking final report was tabled in parliament.

The royal commission was a damning assessment of an aged care system in crisis.

After years of ignorance, the final report was a call to action to put people back in the centre of aged care.

The two-year anniversary allows us the opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved and understand the work we must now focus our attention on.

Since coming into government, we have directly addressed 37 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

From July 1, older people in residential aged care will have access to a registered nurse 24 hours, seven days a week.

Mandatory average care times for residents will be increased to 200 minutes from 1 October 2023, and 215 minutes from 1 October 2024.

From this year, we will deliver a pay rise of at least 15 per cent for aged care workers on the minimum award.

For many, it will be the first time they receive more than $30 an hour for their work.

Some our other achievements include:

  • creating the star ratings system to increase choice, accountability and transparency
  • implementing the inaugural code of conduct for providers and workers to protect older people
  • capping home care charges and exit fees to stop the rorting
  • appointing an interim inspector general to be an independent champion for the sector
  • enhancing safeguards for restrictive practices
  • passing two aged care acts through parliament to keep reform moving.

I have visited more than 20 aged care homes since being sworn in as minister, talking with residents and workers about how our reforms are impacting their daily lives.

I have witnessed exceptional care being delivered, have seen problems that still need to be addressed and issues that clearly need improvement.

This is just the start of our reform mission.

What we are working on right now is bedding in our current reforms while addressing more royal commission recommendations.

We are drilling into ways to boost the numbers of aged care workers, helping aged care providers recruit and train thousands of personal care workers to care for older people at home or in residential facilities, reforming in-home aged care and working on the National Dementia Action Plan.

I am determined to make people the beating heart of a strengthened aged care system that replaces fear with trust.

Older people helped build this country. The very least we can provide them is quality care.

We have critical reforms to tackle over the next 12 months and are working hard to ensure they not only address current issues but set the sector up for long term success.

I am ambitious for aged care. We will continue to pursue the issues to make sure older Australians are treated with the respect, care and dignity they deserve.

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Tags: Anika Wells, royal commission, work value case,

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