Updated: 15 per cent pay rise for aged workers effective June 30

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has today awarded a 15% pay rise for aged care workers from June 30, 2023, bringing forward the 5% increase that was due to commence from July 2024.

The government has committed to funding 10% of the pay rise from July 2023 and an additional 5% from July 2024. However, the FWC’s decision to implement the pay rise in one go has put additional pressure on the already struggling sector.

Updated 1st March 2023: In an op-ed coinciding with the second anniversary of the Final Report being handed down by the Aged Care Royal Commission, Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells has stated that the government will deliver a pay rise of at least 15 per cent this year. The full statement can be found here.

‘From this year, we will deliver a pay rise of at least 15 per cent for aged care workers on the minimum award.’

‘For many, it will be the first time they receive more than $30 an hour for their work’

Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells MP

In a statement released today, ACCPA CEO Tom Symondson stated that the aged care sector is already facing a financial crisis and cannot afford unfunded pay rises of this magnitude. The organisation has repeatedly called for matched funding to ensure that the sector can sustainably provide quality care for older Australians.

Mr Symondson stressed that the decision changes everything, and the government must revisit its position on funding. With seven out of every ten aged care providers already losing an average of $21 per resident per day, the pay rise could push some providers to breaking point.

The wage increase applies to direct care workers, including Head Chefs and Recreational and Lifestyle Officers but does not include aged care support and administration staff.

In a statement, Deputy Chair of the Aged Care Workforce Industry Council (ACWIC), Graeme Prior, acknowledged that progress is being made on improving wages for aged care workers, and said that more needs to be done.

“It is wonderful to see that more aged care workers will get a timely wage increase to acknowledge the value of the essential work that they do.

“However, there are still other aged care workers including support and administration staff, and other food services workers, who are not included in the wage increase. These workers are central to the provision of safe, person-centred care and their work should be properly valued,” he added.


  1. While this is great news for those aged care workers who are in line for the increase, many support staff are again left out. ‘We’ already missed out on the two covid bonus payments. It seems that we are not included as being integral to the health and welfare of our residents. No, we do not directly assist in toileting, dressing, feeding, etc., but; we do wash, dry, fold, and deliver their dirty laundry; we do slave over hot ovens and dishwashers and deliver their meals; we do repair and maintain their mobility aids, beds, air conditioners, TV’s, and hang their pictures of loved ones; we do greet their families, take their abuse, and maintain their records, ensure our staffing rosters are filled; we do ensure lawns are mowed, plants are watered, and flowers blossom; and we all do our best to maintain our own health and hygiene, avoiding many suspect environments, and forego get-togethers and events with families and friends, have our mandatory flu and covid vaccinations, in order to maintain the safety and well-being of our residents.
    And many of us also have educational certificates and qualifications, unlike some recreation and lifestyle officers.
    Maybe I should start cleaning posteriors and making beds – it will pay much better!

    • I understand that your position is just as important! But as a certificate 4 L&L officer I’ll not sure you understand what we deal with? It definitely doesn’t sound like it… emotional well being for the residents, is one of the most important things we deal with! No matter what is going on in our lives we have to leave it at the door constantly putting a smile on your face and ‘showing up’ every single day! It really takes a toll on your mental health.
      I understand that people think that lifestyle only ‘play games’ with the residents at the end of the of day you don’t see behind the scenes how much paper work their is or how much planning can go into an activity. With special events how long it takes for us to organise donations and set up etc

      Lifestyle is so much more than playing games. If it was that easy it wouldn’t be a certificate 4 and a two year course. I wish people would educate themselves on this before running their mouths.

      • And your hourly wage would look healthier then ours for sure and we are not saying your job is not important I am very aware of what Lifestyle workers do. What I am saying is we All have a very big part to play in aged care with our hospitality you can’t feed them without laundry their clothes will be filthy without maintenance you would not be able to fix move organise painting electric machines breaking down etc…. We All play a part and to be honest without all these there would not be a rest home or aged care facilities your jobs would all be in hm . We deserve to be recognised aswell even if we don’t have cert 4 etc…. Are we all not a team and remember I am very aware of all your cert levels hospitality have cert levels aswell

  2. Hi Wayne, I fully agree with you that every department within an aged care facility is as important as the next. No one area can function without the other. Every staff member in aged care should be entitled to wage increases and/or bonus payments. However I do take issue with the pot shot you took at lifestyle staff. Your comments negate any sentiment that you have shown by stating that sector are not as worthy as you or your department, whatever that may be. I have worked as a gardener and a maintenance officer and now as a Lifestyle therapist. You really need to consider your words before putting them to print.

  3. This is very unfair to the rest of aged care workers you make us feel like giving up no respect for the rest of us, for all the work we do. Us cleaners try our best to keep things clean and infection free – you make us feel you don’t need us at all. If there was no cleaners the places would close down

    • I totally agree with you one hundred per cent.I am a cleaner at an agecare facility and do so much more than just cleaning.But we are never recognised for anything .

  4. No mention of the cleaners as usual who do so much more than cleaning.We were also left of the first covid payments agecare is agecare.We all work as a team I am also a OSH rep no extra pay.

  5. Tina and Lucinda, you are absolutely right. This decision will only cause more them and us mentality, every single person working in aged care should be entitled to all pay rises and bonuses because everyone is “essential” not just some.

  6. Every single aged care worker, no matter what job you do, it’s unfair, divisionary and does nothing for staff moral that is already at a all time low. Everyone needs to contact their respective unions and state and federal members. Aged care is a red hot topic at the moment, any whisper of complaints to the media would have ears standing up. The Federal government has to recognise the absolute value of all aged care workers not just a select group. We have all been doing this job for the love of it for too long, it’s time we were paid our worth.

  7. I agree with all above replies. I too have worked as a cleaner and in the laundry for 2.5yrs. The extra we take on to keep the facility functioning as a Covid Safe environment, not to mention the extra help we provide and extra issues we take on due to “Fill in staff” is unbelievable. If we were to just not turn up, where would the facility be then? Too many times the little people are ignored. We’re all working under the same pressures therefore should be rewarded the same way.

  8. I agree I am in aged care as a cleaner and we go above and beyond our duties when covid struck we had to wear PPE and disenfect the rooms and the facility I never saw carers or lifestyle doing it and we are still doing it. The government says it is about time that carers get a 15%pay rise what about us our pay is far less than other cleaners get in a different industry but do they care the answer is NO so it is about time we get recoginition for our work because without us the residents rooms would not be cleaned to a standard that they feel like that it is their home.

    • Wow… again this is putting shit on leisure staff. Seriously you have no idea what we do… half the time my colleagues and I have to do catering as there is never enough staff. I have been a cleaner and I’m telling you between the two cleaning is far less stressful! You can leave the job at the door. With my position we take a lot home, we have to always be smiling always on the ball, be there emotionally for the residents which is so bloody important especially through covid times! Who do you think the responsibility fell on when covid struck?? Leisure and lifestyle workers as we had to be there so much more for the residents as family couldn’t be, we had to give so much emotionally to the residents.
      I love my job so much and wouldn’t change it for the world but don’t you dare say your job is harder because you have no idea.
      No we shouldn’t be paid the same as I didn’t do 2 years of study to be paid the same as a cleaner like I said I was a cleaner and I wanted more so I changed it. If you haven’t done the two jobs you can’t compare.

  9. I truly believe that anybody that works in aged care is entitled to a pay increase, whether you provide, 1:1 daily care, maintain daily health , provide meals, leisure and activity, maintain the gardens, clean the environment, or administration.

    It doesn’t matter who you are or what you provide for the consumers, to them it’s everything, it shouldn’t matter what Award you’re payed under. we are all equal. because at one point in our lives we may or may not, need the cares that we provide to this generation of consumers. I’m sure as we reach a point of being a consumer, everyone as a whole no matter the role, will appreciate all the compassion and effort that goes into the job every single day.

  10. Tricky one. If cleaners and kitchen staff end up with a similar pay rate to the carers then what is the point of being an AIN? We actually hand out the meals and do most of the cleaning of bedrooms and dining room floors even and often do the laundry as we don’t have enough of these staff. I can’t Imagine cleaners or kitchen staff wiping bottoms or cleaning faecies off the floor. The cleaners hardly work. Their job is done by AINs. We have even used the dryer vacc to suck up flooded bedrooms. So please don’t compare yourselves with the carers. We also do Lot of jobs the RNs should do. Everything is placed in our lap. Next time you see a resident with dementia attack another resident do you walk away and call for the AIN? Yes you do. We are the “go to” people to fix every short staffed area in the sector. AINs are used as slaves for all other areas as well as our own even though we too are short staffed!!

  11. The general services staff at NSW Health get paid an allowance for handling items contaminated by faeces , AIN’s do not yet handle faeces contaminated items daily. AIN’s in Mental Health units get paid an extra allowance yet AIN’s in aged care dealing with challenging and aggressive dementia patients do not….

  12. Every one of you are angels and your reward is having the outstanding dna and principles. I respect you all I have been in age care for over 20 years and been a dementia carer mainly as well as laundry, kitchen, cleaner and Therapist assistant, our work is honest hard and we are all full of integrity which unfortunately the companies do not see they see slaves and dollars. All their chickens will come home to roost
    Hope you all get a well earned pay rise
    as you are all amazing

  13. I work as a Social Support Assistant for a NFP organisation.
    I plan and run activities for our clients, some dementia specific
    I also cook lunch
    I also drive a bus
    I also provide personal care
    I also provide emotional support to clients
    I also run an exercise program for clients
    I also run quality arts and crafts activities, researching and buying materials
    I also run cooking activities, have sing a longs and undertake knitting and crocheting projects
    We do quizzes, run footy tipping, look at travel destinations and very occasionally play bingo or other games
    We occasionally get to take clients on outings where I must drive a 16 seater bus that I had to attain a medium rigid licence for
    I complete regular first aid training
    I have a BA, a graduate diploma and a Cert 1V
    We complete detailed paperwork on a daily basis, using a computer to update clients profiles
    We create ling term plans and goals for clients that are regularly reviewed
    We research and create monthly programs that combine decorations, food and activities with a weekly theme.
    I am not getting a pay rise.
    Really Wayne? You clearly have no understanding of the skills and qualifications required for this role, and you obviously don’t have the


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