The Fair Work Commission increased the minimum wage for some eligible employees working in aged care by 15% effective from 30 June 2023.
The increase applies to direct care employees working in aged care, who work in the caring roles under the Aged Care Award 2020, Nurses Award 2020 and Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 (SCHADS Award). The type of workers include:
- the personal care workers and recreation/lifestyle activities officers under Aged Care Award;
- the nursing assistants, enrolled nurses, registered nurses, nurse practitioners working in aged care under the Nurses Award; and
- home care workers working in aged care under the SCHADS Award.
The 15% increase also applies to the most senior food services employees (levels 4-7) covered by the Aged Care Award and working at a particular aged care facility or site. However, the increase does not apply to the support and administrative employees working in the aged care sector as well as to the chefs and cooks covered by the Aged Care Award who are not the most senior food services employees at a particular aged care facility or site.
Interaction with the Registered Agreements
As a general rule, the increase applies to the 3 awards and does not automatically apply to the employees mentioned above who are covered by the registered agreements. However, the minimum wages under these registered agreements cannot be lower than the minimum pay rates under the Awards. Therefore, the minimum wages under the registered agreement must be equal to or higher than the minimum wages under the above-mentioned awards, including the 15% increase for the eligible employees as well as the annual wage increase of 5.75%.
Interaction with the Annual Wage Review
From 1 July 2023, all minimum award wages increased by 5.75% because of the FWC’s Annual Wage Review decision. This meant that the minimum wages of all employees covered under all the Modern Awards increased by 5.75% effective from the first pay period commencing on or after 1 July 2023. This is additional to the 15% increase.
As the minimum wages of the eligible aged care employees already increased by 15% effective from 30 June 2023, the 5.75% increase applied from the first pay period commencing on or after 1 July 2023 on the “increased” minimum wages for these eligible employees.
If you have any questions regarding this or other HR and employment law topics, contact the BetterHR Advice team.
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