Aged workers’ pay claim decision put back to allow Albanese Government submission

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The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has given the new Labor Government until 8 August to make new submissions to the unions’ 25% wage claim for aged care workers – delaying a decision on the case.

It had been expected that a decision on the three awards for aged care workers, nurses, and the social, community, home care and disability services industry would be announced in July.

The Health Services Union (HSU) launched the original case for a 25% wage increase for residential care workers in November 2020. The Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation (ANMF) then joined the push which was expanded to include home care workers.

The FWC stated on 6 June that the new Government wrote on 2 June asking to be heard in the proceedings and would require additional time to file its submissions.

The unions and peak bodies will also be allowed to file responses to the Government’s submissions by 4pm on 17 August before new public hearings at the FWC in Melbourne on 24 and 25 August.

Following these hearings, submissions and replies to submissions by Australian Business Industrial, Aged and Community Services Australia and Leading Aged Services Australia will be held in person at the FWC’s office in Sydney on 1 September, with 2 September also set aside.

The Labor Government cannot force the FWC to lift wages, but it can influence them by making submissions advocating for higher wages.

The Morrison Government routinely made submissions to the FWC’s annual wage reviews, but it had stopped short of advocating for specific wage rises.

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