Aged care staff across Australia will receive a pay increase after the nation's industrial umpire ruled to lift the national minimum wage.
The Fair Work Commission handed down its annual review on Wednesday, lifting minimum hourly rates from $20.33 to $21.38.
This is the equivalent to a pay raise of $40 a week and a weekly minimum wage of $812.60.
Workers who are reliant on awards, including most community and home care workers, will receive a 4.6 per cent pay increase.
Newly-established peak body Aged and Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA) welcomed the decision, but said the sector could not move forward without direct support from the Commonwealth.
"Everyone knows aged care workers need a significant pay increase, but without additional support from government aged care providers will continue to face what the royal commission described as an impossible choice between investing in quality and finding savings to keep the doors open,” interim ACCPA chief Paul Sadler said.
“If we don’t see urgent action the aged care workforce crisis is simply going to translate into other serious problems like increased closures, or offsets in other areas such as training or investment in facilities.
“A significant wage increase for our workforce is essential to attract new people and improve quality of care to older Australians."
During the election, federal Labor committed to fund the Health Services Union's (HSU) separate case to lift aged care workers' wages by 25 per cent.
This case is expected to remain unresolved till 2023.
According to the HSU, the majority of entry-level aged care workers in Australia are paid about $21 an hour.
If a 25 per cent wage rise case passes through, care workers could receive the equivalent of an extra $5 per week.
On a recent Twitter post, prime minister Anthony Albanese wrote that the Fair Work decision was "just the beginning".
"We have more work to do make sure more Australians can get ahead and have real economic security," he said.Do you have an idea for a story?
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