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Paid Aged Care Bonus 2022

The Government announced a bonus エイジングケア 30代 payment of up to $800 in February 2022 for aged care workers. This is a response to ongoing staffing pressures in the sector.

The bonus payments are payable to aged care workers who deliver direct care, food or cleaning services in Government subsidised residential care. They are paid pro-rata based on the hours they work.

How can I apply?

The government announced in February that aged care workers would be eligible for up to $800 in bonus payments. They will be paid in two instalments, depending on the dates that they work and the type of aged care services they are working at.

The bonuses are intended to recognise the efforts of aged care staff during the pandemic and prevent a loss of skilled workers from the sector. However, they have come under fire from peaks and unions, who argue they are tokenistic and insufficient.

While the government has said that it has received applications from just over half of all aged care providers expected to have applied for the first round, many are still waiting for their applications to be approved. An ANMF spokesperson told Community Care Review last week that one member was still waiting to receive her bonuses after a month.

Aged care providers must apply for the bonus on behalf of their employees, which they can do through the Commonwealth Grant Connect website. Once they have submitted an application, the Department of Health will assess the request and issue a grant funding agreement. This must be signed and returned before funds are released to the provider.

Once the employer receives the funds, they will need to pass them on to their staff within two pay cycles. The Department of Health is encouraging employers to make the bonus payment/s as soon as possible.

The first instalment will be sent to aged care workers employed on 28 February 2022. The second instalment will be sent to those employed on 28 April 2022.

Eligible aged care workers must have worked for the same provider over the entire eligibility period, which is 1 May 2022 – 31 October 2022. They must also have worked a minimum of 30 hours in a week over the four weeks leading up to the relevant census date.

If you are an aged care worker and you believe that you are entitled to a payment, it is important that you speak with your employer about this matter as soon as possible. This will help to resolve any issues and ensure that the bonus is paid as quickly as possible.

How much is the bonus payment?

On February 1, the government announced that aged care workers would be eligible for two payments of up to $800 in total. It is a retention measure meant to help prevent an exodus of staff from the sector.

Full-time registered nurses will be eligible for a payment of $3700, with part-time and casual nurses eligible for a pro-rata amount, averaging $2700. The government hopes this incentive encourages aged care nurses to continue working with older Australians, and incentivises other nurses in other sectors to explore a career in aged care.

Aged care providers can apply on behalf of their employees by completing an online application via GrantConnect. Once the Department of Health has approved an application, funds will be distributed to eligible providers. Employers must then make the bonus payment/s within two pay cycles from when they receive the funds.

The government says the money is a recognition of the commitment of aged care workers to the COVID-19 pandemic and their continued dedication to caring for older people. Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt said it will encourage those in the industry to stay in their roles.

“This is an important step to support our aged care workforce as they continue to provide high quality care and service to older Australians,” he said.

A factsheet on the Department of Health website states that the bonus payment will be made to eligible aged care workers who work more than 31 hours in a week. This includes both residential and home care staff, including clinical support, personal care, cleaning and support with household tasks, meal preparation, social support, shopping services, community access, transport, allied health and respite.

However, a recent survey conducted by the aged care sector’s union showed that 71 per cent of workers have still not received their promised payments. A meagre 2.7 per cent had received both installments of the $400 bonus.

UWU national aged care director Carolyn Smith said the government had misled employees by announcing the bonus would be paid on March 1. The union argues that it should have been given to aged care workers earlier in the year.

Who is eligible for the bonus payment?

The bonus payment is available to eligible workers working in residential aged care, home care and Commonwealth Home Support Program settings from 1 November 2022 - 31 October 2023. Full-time registered nurses (RNs) can receive a core payment of $3,700 over the year, with additional amounts available on a pro-rata basis for part-time and casual nurses who have worked for the same aged care provider for at least 12 months, or work in rural or remote Australia, undertake post-graduate education or take on extra leadership responsibilities.

Aged care workers who have been on paid leave for a COVID-19-related absence are also entitled to receive a bonus payment. The bonus will be calculated on the highest number of hours that the worker worked in each week out of the four weeks prior to the relevant census date, or if no first instalment was received, the amount will be determined by the total of the weekly hours that would have been worked in the period if they had not taken paid or unpaid leave for COVID-19-related absences.

ANMF President Jennifer Smith says the bonus is welcome, but she warns that it won’t be enough to fix the issues in the sector. “The ANMF remains steadfast in our call for an immediate and permanent pay rise to prevent a feared exodus of overwhelmed aged care workers,” she says.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Aged Care said aged care providers had been encouraged to apply on behalf of their staff and pass on the payment as soon as possible after receiving the grant funding agreement. They will need to lodge an application for the bonus via the Commonwealth Grant Connect website from March 1.

The Department of Health and Aged Care confirmed it had received applications for the bonuses from 945 aged care providers as of April 4. It was estimated that 265,000 workers were expected to receive a $400 bonus, with another instalment of the same amount due in May.

The government announced the bonus in February to recognise the efforts of aged care workers during COVID-19 and stem the exodus of workforce in the sector. Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Richard Colbeck says the scheme aims to help ensure these workers remain on the frontline of caring for vulnerable older Australians.

How can I receive the bonus payment?

A bonus payment of up to $800 will be paid in two instalments to care and support workers in Government-subsidised home care packages and to direct care workers, food service workers and cleaners in Government-subsidised residential care.

Aged care employers must apply for the bonus on behalf of their eligible workers. They must attach a completed staffing profile spreadsheet to their application. This spreadsheet will detail the employees who are eligible for the bonus payment and their hours of work during the previous four weeks.

Employers are encouraged to lodge their applications for the bonus payment as soon as possible and pay it to the eligible workers directly. They can then use the funds for COVID-19-related expenses such as wages, medical costs, travel to appointments and other incidental costs.

The first payment of the bonus will be paid to workers on 28 February 2022. A second payment equal to the first will be automatically made to providers/agencies in May 2022.

However, some aged care providers have been slow to submit their application for the funds. A survey conducted by the UWU found less than half of all providers expected to apply had done so.

It is likely that many aged care providers will not submit an application for the bonus due to a variety of factors. Some have cited financial pressures, and others have been worried about how they would manage paying out the bonuses to their employees.

Another factor preventing aged care providers from applying for the bonus is that it will be considered income and therefore subject to income tax, and may also require employers to pay payroll tax.

Nevertheless, the bonus is still being offered as a way to retain workers in aged care. In addition to the bonus, the government has announced a number of other incentives for aged care workers, including a bonus for nurses who work in private or public state-run providers.

But even this has failed to win the hearts and minds of some aged care workers. The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has slammed the Morrison Government for its decision to pay out the bonuses as grossly inadequate and a pre-election push that fails to address underlying low pay, poor staffing and crushing workloads in aged care.

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