The Fair Work Commission granted the rise to award workers last week, raising the national minimum wage to $18.29 an hour – that’s $694.90 a week – from July 1.
But while recognising the valuable work that aged care workers do, ACSA and the Aged Care Guild say the decision will only put more pressure on providers who are already dealing with constrained funding and constant reforms to the sector.
Wages currently make up 60% of total expenses for providers, according to the Aged Care Financing Authority.
Aged Care Guild CEO Cameron O’Reilly says that with aged care workers already being paid less compared to other care industries, a cost-cutting approach won’t work.
“The only answer is to increase funding to the sector through more resident contributions, tighter eligibility for government funding and better indexation of public funding in line with costs,” he says.