The Government has announced that the aged care bonus will rise in 2022 and this is great news for all those that work in the aged care industry. However, the problem is that some people are not getting paid their bonuses. They are being left with no money to pay for their homes and pensions.
Registered nurses

The Federal Government has announced a new payment for Registered Nurses working in aged care. This bonus is part of a $18 billion package to improve the quality of care provided to elderly Australians.

Registered nurses who work in residential aged care, in-home care and the Commonwealth Home Support Programme are eligible for the new bonus. It is available to full-time and part-time registered nurses. A bonus of $2,300 a year will be awarded to those who meet the eligibility criteria. In addition, those who hold postgraduate qualifications or take on leadership roles will receive an additional $2300. Those who work in remote and rural areas are also able to apply.

The Aged Care Registered Nurses' Payment is intended to reward registered nurses who are willing to work in a variety of settings. If an employer chooses to apply, the bonus will be paid on a pro-rata basis for the period of employment.

A second payment is offered to employees who work for the same provider for at least 12 months between November 2022 and October 2023. An additional payment will be given to RNs who work in medium and large rural towns, and in remote and rural regions.

Registered nurses who are unable to apply directly to the Commonwealth should ask their employer if they are eligible for the bonus. If the employer is not able to confirm whether the employee is eligible, the employee will be able to apply for the bonus through the Department of Health and Aged Care. エイジングケアとは

According to the government, the bonus plan is intended to recognise and encourage nurses to work in aged care. It will be delivered via a non-competitive grant process. For the first round, which closes on 14 December, the government is proposing a payment of $3700 to full-time and pro-rata to part-time RNs.

To apply for the bonus, employers must submit a completed application form to the department by 14 December. The bonus will then be paid out in two separate payments to eligible RNs. Employers must not submit eligible employees to the department directly, although they can give prospective staff details of the bonus payment in position descriptions. However, the government will be conducting audits of grants.

Employers must pay the bonus to RNs as soon as possible. The government will require proof of payment to eligible RNs. For those working less than full-time, the payment will be based on the average number of hours worked each week during the year.

Aged Care Registered Nurses' Payment is a replacement for the Aged Care Workforce Retention Bonus. Until October 2022, registered nurses who stayed with the same employer for at least 12 months were able to apply for the Aged Care Workforce Retention Benefit. While it is not clear whether this payment will be implemented for the entire workforce, the Department of Health and Aged Care has said it would be likely to do so.
Home care workers

In February 2022, the Federal Government announced the implementation of a two-payment bonus for aged care workers. The scheme is set to make up to $800 available to eligible home care, residential care and clinical care workers. It will also provide a $210 million funding support package to help address the workforce crisis in the industry.

Aged care workers have lamented that they are struggling to get the pay they need. Many have complained that the payment isn't adequate, and others say they're unsure when they will receive the payment. According to ANMF (Aged and Community Care Providers Association) director Carolyn Smith, the payment is the "huge win" for workers, but it's not enough. A permanent increase in pay would be much needed, she said.

The Federal government has announced a $210 million funding package to help support the aged care industry. This funding will be distributed to providers based on the number of direct care and support staff in their service. They will also be compensated for payroll costs, onboarding expenses for new employees, and tax costs.

There will be two bonus payments, with the first instalment payable to eligible home care, residential care and clinical workers in February and April 2022. The second payment will be automatically made to providers in May 2022. However, employers are encouraged to pay the bonus to their staff as soon as they can.

The Department of Health will assess applications and determine which employees qualify for the bonus. Applications will be accepted from 1 March 2022. Employers must apply within two pay cycles. If the application is approved, a grant funding agreement will be sent to the provider. When the grant funding agreement is returned, the employer will be reimbursed.

Aged care workers are urging the government to go beyond the two-payment scheme and offer a significant permanent wage increase. Some are calling on the Prime Minister to do more to address the issues facing the sector, such as understaffing and underpayments.

Several peak bodies in the aged care industry have joined together to push for higher wages and more skilled workers. PHI supported the coalition leadership and crafted talking points for legislators. One key issue was the lack of PPE and regular RATs.

During hearings in 2022, the Full Bench agreed to a 15% wage increase for direct care workers. While this is an interim decision, it is the first of its kind. Ultimately, it will be up to the full bench to determine whether this is a necessary and justifiable pay rise.

Home care aides have voiced their opposition to the scheme. While the majority of workers will receive a pro-rata increase to their minimum wage, some have questioned why there was no additional funding for lifestyle workers.
Dealing with aged care workers who haven't received a bonus

The aged care industry has been a bit of a black hole in recent years and a good bonus for those involved is a welcome change of scenery. Having said that, not all bonuses are created equal. For example, there are no guarantees that a particular employer will actually apply for a bonus. However, the federal government has stepped up to the plate and will supply the necessary moxie affixed to a bonus. Specifically, there is a reward for those that have a good fit, i.e., employees that meet the criteria.

In the past, the government has done the honours with a whopping 265,000 eligible workers. To further sweeten the deal, the government has provided some bonus dollars to eligible aged care providers. With this in mind, it's only a matter of time before the number of approved providers reaches the magic 699 mark. Not to mention the tens of thousands of newly minted aged care employees. This bodes well for the future of the industry.

The best part is, these bonuses aren't all that much money. That is if you are one of the many lucky aged care providers that have snagged the lucrative sweetspot. Luckily, there are many more aged care facilities in need of a good bonus than there are eligible workers to go around. It is therefore a win-win situation for all parties involved. Plus, with a good bonus in hand, providers will be able to offer a better customer experience. If you're a provider looking to secure a bonus, get your spiel on a move now. Alternatively, you may wish to wait until the dust settles. Just be sure you are doing it the right way!