Updated: Retention bonus payments less than promised

Government announces that payments made under the COVID-19 Workforce Retention Bonus Grant will now be taxed, despite advising on March 20 that the grants would be made after-tax.

The scheme is designed to help low-paid aged care workers in both home care and residential facilities during COVID-19 via two quarterly payments of $600 and $800 respectively. In now regarding the payments as taxable income will see workers receive around 30% less than originally promised.

The country’s largest union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), says the Federal Government has broken another promise to aged care workers at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 – by taxing their ‘retention bonus’.

“The retention bonus has been clouded in confusion from the start; clear details and information regarding how the bonus will work, who will be eligible, and how applications can be made, have not been forthcoming. We’ve also been told by some of our members that their employers aren’t even aware that the bonus scheme exists,” ANMF Federal Secretary, Annie Butler, said today.


Further information on the grant can be found here with submission via the Grants Connect website here – https://www.grants.gov.au/ It is expected that applications can be made from mid-June with payments beginning to flow early July.

Update from the Dept of Health: 11 June 3.30pm AEST: The Grant opportunity round will open on Monday 15 June 2020 to accept applications from Approved Providers and Aged Care Workforce Agencies for eligible workers to receive the Aged Care Workforce Retention Payment.The retention bonus will be paid by employers (aged care providers and agencies who provide aged care staff) to their eligible staff. Workers will be required to be employed at the time of application to be eligible. Further information here – https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/workforce-retention-bonus-grant-residential-care-and-home-care

The grant round will remain open until 2pm Monday 20 July 2020. First payments will be made to providers/agencies in July 2020.



  1. The union has a lot to answer for in the Aged Care business,in the way that the rights of their members are being eroded and the way that the same members are being treated by their employers and the Union.
    Why is the payment being allowed to be taxed,with the union not even attempting to show some leadership?
    Why is it employers do not pay correct penalty rates for overtime,in complete reverse of what the workplace award states?
    Why is it employees are not paid for doing higher classification duties,as the award states?
    The union is a party to these signed agreements,yet it sits in the background and does nothing as it’s members work their butts off to help some of the most vulnerable members of our society.
    The employees in the business need,and deserve,better representation from these fully paid so called workers representatives in these challenging times now and in the future.

  2. So i don’t get the retention bonus because as the lifestyle coordinator i’m not a direct care worker. Well next week i’ll work from home because i don’t provide direct care. #lifestylecareworkersmatter

  3. What can you do if your employer does not apply for the retention bonus Grant for you even though you have asked many times.


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