Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Investing in the Aged Care Workforce

Joint Media Release with:

    • Senator The Hon. Mitch Fifield
      Assistant Minister for Social Services
    • The Hon. Kevin Andrews MP
      Minister for Social Services

The Coalition Government today announced the first step in delivering on the Government’s Healthy Life, Better Ageing commitments.

The Government recognises that increased pay and improved conditions are essential to attract and retain skilled workers to the sector, while being affordable and sustainable. Recruiting and retaining sufficient numbers of skilled, dedicated workers to the aged care sector is crucial for Australia’s aged care system to meet the community’s increasing need for aged care services.

The Aged Care Workforce Supplement introduced by the former government did not guarantee improved pay and conditions for all aged care workers and many providers could not justify applying because the Supplement would not have covered their additional costs.

The Government is committed to working with the sector to develop a policy which will ensure that available funding is distributed in a way that is flexible, targeted and ensures the viability of aged care providers.

For this reason, the Government has taken the responsible step of suspending applications for the Workforce Supplement introduced by the former government while it consults with the sector on alternative policy options.

Aged care providers that are eligible for the Supplement will have their funding honoured and the Department of Social Services will continue to process applications that have already been received. The Government will consider transitional arrangements for these providers as it develops alternative policy options.