Govt reiterates promise to fund FWC outcome

The Albanese government will finalise pay rise funding in the federal budget, a government spokesperson has told AAA.

The Albanese Government remains committed to funding the outcome of the Fair Work Commission’s work value case and will finalise the funding details in the upcoming federal budget, a government spokesperson has told Australian Ageing Agenda.

The government has previously proposed to the FWC that the 15 per cent pay rise for direct care workers – which now extends to recreational officers and a home’s most senior chef or cook, and to all home care workers – be phased in over two stages: 10 per cent this July; the remaining 5 per cent 12 months later. It also committed to staggering the funding for the increase over that period.

The government’s proposal to phase in the pay rise was subsequently slammed by stakeholders.

However, on Tuesday, the FWC announced its decision that the 15 per cent be paid in full, in one go, effective from 30 June.

When asked Thursday by AAA whether the Commonwealth intended to fully fund the 15 per cent to match the FWC’s decision, a government spokesperson replied: “The government has committed to fund the outcome of the work value case. Now that we have the FWC decision, we will finalise funding arrangements in the budget context.”

If the 15 per cent is funded by government in full, it will allay stakeholders’ fears that providers would have to find the extra 5 per cent themselves.

Jason Kara

Speaking to AAA earlier this week, Catholic Health Australia aged care director Jason Kara said providers would be unable to absorb the 5 per cent increase – “we need government support to do this and we’re waiting with bated breath now about what the government’s response will be.”

CHA is the peak body representing Australia’s Catholic aged care providers. Its concerns were echoed by other industry stakeholders.

“With seven out of 10 aged care providers already losing an average of $21 per resident per day, this decision of the commission changes everything,” said Aged & Community Care Providers Association chief executive officer Tom Symondson in a statement.

He added: “We have publicly supported the need for significant pay rises for our workforce and fully supported the government’s election commitment to fully  fund them. However, this must not be at the cost of our sector’s ability to deliver care to older Australians.”

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Tags: ACCPA, catholic-health-australia, fair work commission, featured, jason kara, pay rie, Tom Symondson,

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