Today the Fair Work Commission (FWC) delivered its decision on Stage 2 of the Work Value Case. The outcome of the Decision is as follows:
The 15% interim increase on award rates granted in Stage 1 for direct aged care workers will be operative from 30 June 2023 in its totality.
Direct aged care workers are:
Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Enrolled Nurses, Assistants in Nursing classifications in the Nurses Award 2020;
All levels of Personal Care Workers involved in direct care in the Aged Care Award 2010; and
All levels of Home Care employees in the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry 2010.
Recreational Activities Officer/Lifestyle Officer (all levels) and Head Chef/Head Cook (aged care employee level 4-7 provided the employee is the most senior chef or cook engaged in a facility) classifications under the Aged Care Award 2010 will also receive a 15% increase to their award rates.
The whole 15% interim increase on award rates for these classifications commences on 30 June 2023. However, thus far the Government has said they will only fund an additional 10% increase from 1 July 2023. As it stands, there would be a funding shortfall.
Whilst ACCPA welcomes today’s decision by the Fair Work Commission to increase aged care worker salaries, we are extremely concerned that they have chosen not to align the pay-rises with government funding.
Increases to salaries are sorely needed, but so is matched funding. As we have clearly stated, time and again, our sector is in financial crisis and cannot afford unfunded pay rises of this scale.
We have publicly supported the need for significant pay-rises for our workforce, and fully supported the Government’s 2022 election commitment to fully fund them. However, this must not be at the cost of our sector’s ability to deliver care to older Australians.
We continue to engage with the Government to find a workable solution.
Read ACCPA Media Release
The New Award Rates
Currently we only have a draft Determination from the FWC with the new award wage rates:
These will be finalised by the FWC shortly after 1 March 2023 and we will distribute the final award wage rates to Members as soon as they are received.
Communication with Staff
It is very important that Members communicate directly with your staff about what this Decision means for them. Specifically, it will be important to make clear:
Which classifications the increase applies to;
That those staff on above award rates (such as those under an enterprise agreement) may not receive the whole 15% increase from 30 June 2023 because the increase is on award rates.
Your organisation’s view on review of wage rates once it is clear what additional funding will be provided by the Government.
What is happening with those classifications which have not yet received an increase - they will be considered as part of Stage 3 of the case.
It is important that staff have a reasonable expectation of what the 15% interim increase will mean for them. There has been a lot of information around on the Work Value Case and not all of it has been correct or giving the full picture so it is crucial to provide correct information to staff on this issue as it applies to them.
We recommend the following steps for Members:
Keep watching for updates on ACCPA advocacy on the additional funding for the 15% increase commencing on 30 June 2023.
Provide the draft Determination new wage rates to your payroll and human resources staff and be ready to provide them with the final version of the Determination when ACCPA sends it through.
Communicate with staff as soon as practicable on the outcome of the Decision and what it means for them.