On 4 November 2022 the Fair Work Commission handed down a decision which will increase minimum wages for care workers in the aged care industry.

The decision was made under the Commission’s “work value” powers, which allow it to increase wages where it is found that there is a disparity in pay between employees doing work of equivalent value in different settings.

It was found that care workers in the aged care sector are underpaid compared to care workers in other sectors.

Trade unions involved in the applications have pushed for a 25% increase for such workers, but the Fair Work Commission has determined to award a 15% increase as an interim measure, but will continue to consider the case for further increases.

A further conference is being held on 22 November 2022 to determine the timing of the 15% increase.

The increase will apply to the minimum wages for care workers in the aged care sector in the following modern awards:

  • The Aged Care Award 2010 (which has coverage for care workers working in residential care homes)
  • The Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Award 2010 (‘SCHADS’ Award) (which has coverage for care workers providing care in an elderly person’s own home)
  • The Nurses Award 2020 (which has coverage for nurses providing care to the elderly)

The increases will not apply to all employees under these awards, only care workers working in the aged care industry.

A summary of the decision is available here.

We will be providing further information on the impact of the decision shortly.


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