The federal government has announced that it will spend an additional $1.2 billion over four years to raise the wages of aged care workers.
The incentive comes amidst longstanding calls for improved labour conditions for Australia’s 320,000 aged care workers, including personal carers, enrolled nurses and registered nurses.
Aged Care Minister Mark Butler is expected to announce further details today, but has expressed confidence that the increase represents positive progress under the aged care sector's Workforce Compact.
‘The compact is a key component of the government's $3.7 billion aged care reform package and delivers on our commitment to better pay and conditions for Australia's aged care workers’, Butler told The Sydney Morning Herald.
With projections that up to 25 per cent of Australia’s population will be aged 65 or over by the year 2056, an estimated 827,000 aged care workers will be required. The government hopes that the pay rise will play a role in bolstering the industry’s workforce.
‘We know that most Australians who pursue a career in aged care do it for much more than the financial reward, but pay rises of that level are a big incentive to work in this secure and growing industry’, Butler said.
‘A better paid, better skilled and better trained workforce will underpin a more responsive system that provides older Australians with quality care’.