Release type: Joint Media Release


A pay rise for aged care workers


The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for the Arts
The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care
The Hon Anika Wells MP
Minister for Aged Care, Minister for Sport

Aged care workers are in line for a much deserved pay rise because of the advocacy of unions, the sector and the Albanese Labor Government.

The Fair Work Commission has made an interim decision for an increase to minimum wages of at least 15 per cent for aged care workers in direct care roles on a number of different awards.

The Commission has announced a further process to consider timing, possible further increases for these workers, and whether to also grant a pay rise for aged care administrative and support staff.

Our Government promised to fight for a pay rise for Australia’s aged care workers and we did. We made a submission to the Fair Work Commission in August that unequivocally supported a wage increase.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommended the Government contribute to this union-initiated work value case. Unlike the previous Liberal and National government, we delivered.

The Government’s submission also made it clear we would fund an increase to award wages – and we will.

We’re fighting for a better future for aged care workers and older Australians.

If we don’t start paying aged care workers properly we won’t be able to attract and retain enough staff to care for our loved ones as our population ages.

Our Government is committed to stopping the neglect in the aged care sector – putting security, dignity and humanity back into the aged care system for workers and older Australians.

Quotes attributable to Tony Burke, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations:

“Aged care work is hard work – but it’s undervalued work. 

“This result is the first step in changing that.

“Our Government is committed to getting wages moving again, particularly in low-paid female-dominated industries like this one.”

Quotes attributable to Mark Butler, Minister for Health and Aged Care: 

“The Government delivered on its commitment to make a submission on this case and we will fund the outcome.

“Better wages will lead to better staffing and better care.”

Quotes attributable to Anika Wells, Minister for Aged Care:

“We need to bring workers back to the aged care sector and fill the staff shortages caused by nine years of neglect. 

“One of the main causes of the gender pay gap is low pay and poor conditions in care sectors like aged care, where the majority of workers are women. Increasing wages in aged care is essential to ensuring that men and women are paid equally.”