Aged-care wage rise for cleaners passed by Fair Work Commission

About 400,000 aged-care workers will receive wage rises of up to 28 percent after the Fair Work Commission handed down a landmark decision for the sector.

Pay for support services workers such as cleaners, laundry hands and food services assistants will increase by 6.96 percent through a combination of increased wages and reclassification.

A work value case was lodged in the Fair Work Commission by the Health Services Union (HSU) in November 2020. It sought a 25 percent increase to wages for all employees, arguing that work had been undervalued because of its increasing complexity and its overwhelmingly feminised workforce.

At the end of 2022, the Fair Work Commission awarded an interim 15 percent pay rise to approximately 240,000 direct care employees. Since then, the union has pushed for a comprehensive increase for all staff.

The hourly wage for direct care workers will increase between 18 and 28 percent (inclusive of the previous 15 percent). Work remains to lift the wages of support workers in areas such as administration and maintenance.

The decision, including the earlier pay rise, will be finalised after submissions from interested parties have been received, with the phasing-in schedule still to be decided.

Read the Fair Work Commission decision here

Photo by Jsme MILA. 

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