HWU Aged Care Members Update



As you know, the HWU has been fighting to lift the wages of aged care workers in the Fair Work Commission. That’s why our union filed an application to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) in an Aged Care Work Value Case aimed at lifting Australia’s aged care wages.

The HWU submission to the Fair Work Commission’s Aged Care Work Value Case, (which was initiated by an application of the union to vary the Aged Care Award 2010), had direct input from many HWU members. Thanks again to all HWU members who participated.

The good news is that the Fair Work Commission has just ruled to substantially lift Award wages by 15% from 30 June 2023, as part of Stage 2 of this Aged Care Work Value Case.

This follows the commitment of the Federal Government, in its recent Stage 2 submission to the Aged Care Work Value Case Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission, to provide additional funding to each employer to cover the increases in Aged Care Award 2010 and Nurses Award 2020 (Award) rates. The intent of the Commonwealth providing this funding is to lift wages (and associated entitlements) for aged care employees. 

(Please note that Stage 3 of the Aged Care Work Value Case is intended to deal with wage increases for cleaners, food services workers, maintenance and other support services employees such as laundry workers).

Affected employees of Stage 2 Wage Increases from 30 June 2023

In Stage 2, direct care employees whose wages will be overtaken by the increase in the Awards provided by the Commonwealth will be affected. These include:

  • Personal Care Workers (or sometimes referred to as Personal Care Assistants)
  • Enrolled (Division 2) Nurses
  • Registered (Division 1) Nurses
  • Leisure & Lifestyle Officers
  • The most senior food services employee (eg. head chef)
  • Home carers
Funding for 30 June 2023 Pay Rises

As stated, the Fair Work Commission this week (21 February 2023) made a ruling in relation to the Aged Care Work Value Case, to substantially lift Award wages by 15% from 30 June 2023.

It is expected that the Commonwealth will pass on an increase in Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) funding on 30 June 2023 (the current commitment of which is 10%). The funding shortfall of 5% will likely be met by the Federal Government, or by the employer. Regardless, the Aged Care Award wages must increase by 15% from 30 June 2023. This is law.

What does this 15% wage increase to the Aged Care Award mean for workers?

The HWU estimates that, currently, 90% of employer Agreements will be affected by this change from 30 June 2023. This means that the Award increases from 30 June 2023 will now be more than in 90% of current Aged Care agreements. Only a handful of current aged care Agreements pay higher than the new Award rate from 30 June 2023.

Please take the time to check the table below. This will be the new minimum rate of pay for the majority of aged care workers. Your employer has ample time to adjust to the new rate. There should be no excuse for paying under this new Award rate after 30 June 2023. In fact, it will be unlawful to do so.

Unions lead the way

Australian aged care workers have been neglected for too long. The Aged Care Royal Commission was the beginning of a process that shed light on the industry. The work and recommendations of the Royal Commission was important work.

But it was the work of health worker unions that led to real outcomes for aged care workers via this Aged Care Fair Work Value Case. Without the support of aged care members like you, unions would not exist. Put simply, this win to lift aged care Award wages is because of you and your commitment to unionism.

It is also commendable that the new Federal Government has recognised the work of our aged care workers. This recognition has come on the back of public pressure.

Stage 3 of the Aged Care Work Value Case will deal with other aged care workers who aren’t getting an uplift in this round. The HWU will continue to fight for all aged care workers to be recognised and paid fairly in line with their value to the community.

If you have any questions about the expected 30 June 2023 increases for direct care workers, please call the HWU on (03) 9341 3300.

Please see the table below for the increases to the Aged Care Award for direct care workers. 

Aged Care Employee Level Current Per Week Current Per Hour Full 15% per week Plus 15% per hour
1 $801.40 $21.09 $921.61 $24.25
2 $834.60 $21.96 $959.79 $25.26
3 $867.30 $22.82 $997.40 $26.25
4 $877.60 $23.09 $1009.24 $26.56
5 $907.30 $23.88 $1043.40 $27.46
6 $956.20 $25.16 $1099.63 $28.94
7 $973.40 $25.62 $1119.41 $29.46