Interim decision leads to 15% award pay rise for ‘direct care’ workers in aged care

There has been an important wage decision handed down by the Fair Work Commission (Commission) impacting the aged care sector. The change impacts a number of modern awards.

On 4 November 2022, the Commission issued a 15% increase to base award rates of pay to ‘direct care’ workers in the aged care sector, which includes registered nurses, enrolled nurses, assistants in nursing, personal care workers and health care workers. The changes impact the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010, the Aged Care Award 2010 and the Nurses Award 2020 (for the particular classification of workers).

The pay increase has not come into effect just yet. The timing of the increase will be issued by the Commission following the next stages of the process. The next immediate step is a Commission mention hearing on 22 November 2022 to issue directions about the opportunity for relevant parties to submit further information about the timing and method of implementation of the pay increase.

Those employers that rely on the relevant awards to determine pay rates and employment conditions will be impacted by the decision once it comes into effect. If your company or organisation has an enterprise agreement in place, the award increases may also impact your workforce where the rates of pay in the enterprise agreement fall below the award minimum rates once the 15% increase is applied (in whole or part).

It is important to review those minimum agreement rates following the award changes to ensure compliance with the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) at all times.

Moores will be closely watching these developments and updating clients in the coming months.

How we can help

For assistance with your organisation’s pay rates and compliance, please reach out to our Workplace Relations team. Our team is well equipped to provide advice on your obligations and conduct reviews of your internal policies and procedures.

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Please contact us for more detailed and tailored help.

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