Aged care salaries back in the spotlight

Pete Wildman

With our aging population, for how long can we afford to undervalue those caring for our elderly generation?

Aged care workers are among the lowest paid workers in Australia. This longstanding issue is back under the microscope now that a Senate committee is investigating the aged care workforce. But we’re wondering whether change is likely anytime soon.

Senate findings show little change

Aged care workers presenting evidence to the Senate inquiry have shed light on the situation, revealing that aged care workers’ pay has barely increased in a decade. Many personal care workers earn around half the average fulltime weekly pay of other Australians, and most aged care workers are part-time or casual – making it difficult for them to get a loan.

What does this mean for hiring?

The fair pay issue is critical for organisations trying to attract and retain aged care workers. Some aged care providers do pay above minimum wage, and it’s not surprising that these organisations tend to find it easier to fill roles and keep staff turnover to a minimum.

The effects of low pay are often compounded by a prevailing perception of aged care as ‘low-value’ work; despite its critical role in our society.

Do you think the current Senate inquiry will spark real change? What’s your experience with aged care salaries?

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