Direct care and some senior food services employees working in aged care facilities are set to receive a 15% wage increase starting from 30 June 2023 following the decision made by the Fair Work Commission.
The wage increase applies to eligible employees covered by the Aged Care Award, Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry (SCHADS) Award and Nurses Award. It specifically includes direct care employees, such as personal care workers and nurses working in aged care, and home care workers working in aged care under the SCHADS Award. The most senior food service employee covered by the Aged Care Award, at a particular aged care facility or site, is also included in the wage increase.
However, the 15% wage increase does not apply to support and administrative employees or chefs and cooks covered by the Aged Care Award who are not the most senior food services employee at a particular aged care facility or site.
The Pay and Conditions Tool of the Fair Work Commission will be updated closer to the implementation of the new rates. Until then, employers and employees can check the final determinations for each award to see the new minimum rates.
The wage increase is a result of the Commission’s review of wages in the aged care sector as part of a work value case. The Commission is still considering some other issues in the work value case, including classification definitions and structures in the three awards, and wage adjustments for some other aged care employees that may be justified on work value grounds.
It is important to note that the wage increase applies to minimum pay rates in the three awards only, and may not be automatically applied to rates in agreements. However, the minimum pay rate in an agreement cannot be less than the new minimum award rates.
The Commission’s Annual Wage Review is also ongoing and may affect the minimum rates of pay for employees receiving the 15% increase. Employers may need to update their payroll twice to reflect changes to pay rates, depending on the Commission’s decision and when the next pay period commences following that decision.
Employers and employees can stay up to date with changes in minimum pay rates and the Annual Wage Review can be found on the Fair Work Commission website.