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Aged Care Award Rates: Complete Guide 2022

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Updated 1st July 2022 with new Award Rates. These rates come into effect in the first full pay run after July 1.

Aged Care is one of Australia’s most important industries, taking care of elderly family members in important stages of their lives. In recent years the sector has faced intense scrutiny, including a Royal Commission which revealed substandard care. One of the most important ways to ensure a high quality service is to pay your staff correctly and manage your workforce in a professional way. The Aged Care Award dictates pay and conditions for many staff, and following it to the letter is crucial.

About the Aged Care Award MA000018

The Federal Government created Award Rates so that pay rates could be regulated in specific industries. The idea is that each industry has different costs and business conditions, so wages should reflect those differences. When The Fair Work Commission sets wages, it tries to balance the need for businesses to make a profit with the need for workers to get a fair days pay.

The Aged Care Award covers a wide variety of workers that are involved in the industry. Typically, the Award covers facilities like hostels, nursing homes, garden settlements, retirement villages, and other typical residential accommodation facilities. The coverage includes personal care workers, as well as non-medical staff, like cleaners, drivers, cooks, receptionist, and other employees at the facility. For a full guide to coverage, look at Fair Work’s descriptions here.

Complexity of the Award System

The Award system is famously complicated, with 180 modern awards, each containing 180-200 individual rules. As you can imagine, this makes paying people accurately very difficult. Incorrectly classifying an employee on the wrong award, or position, will easily lead to underpayment. Likewise, it’s easy to incorrectly interpret penalties and allowances.

Some businesses use the Fair Work Commission’s calculator to manually look up entitlements for each employee. However, as staff counts increase, this can become time-consuming, complex, and error-prone.

Keeping compliant with Fair Work legislation

In 2020 alone, workers were underpaid to the tune of about $2.4 billion dollars. The biggest reason for underpayment isn’t that businesses are trying to scam workers – it’s the complexity of the award system. Simple, honest errors have often compounded for businesses into massive underpayment issues. 

With so many rules and regulations to get around, businesses are increasingly turning to software with digital time and attendance, as well as automatic award interpretation capabilities. Software like Tanda records an employee’s time and attendance, and applies the appropriate pay rate, penalty rates, allowances and higher duties, integrating straight into payroll. 

Aged Care Award 2022 pay rates

Below are the minimum general Aged Care Award pay rates for 2022 for the various levels of employment. The current rule set came into effect on the 1st of July 2022.

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Less Than 8 hour break after sleepover

Level 1

$28.34

$39.67

$45.34

$62.34

$51.01

Level 2

$29.46

$41.25

$47.14

$64.82

$53.03

Level 3

$30.59

$42.82

$48.94

$67.29

$55.06

Level 4

$30.95

$43.33

$49.52

$68.09

$55.71

Level 5

$32

$44.80

$51.20

$70.40

$57.60

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Less Than 8 hour break after sleepover

Less than 10 hour break between shifts

Level 1

$22.67

$34.01

$39.67

$56.68

$45.34

$45.34

Level 2

$23.57

$35.36

$41.25

$58.93

$47.14

$47.14

Level 3

$24.47

$36.71

$42.82

$61.18

$48.94

$48.94

Level 4

$24.76

$37.14

$43.33

$61.90

$49.52

$49.52

Level 5

$25.60

$38.40

$44.80

$64.00

$51.20

$51.20

Classifying employees under the Aged Care Award

One of the biggest reasons employers underpay staff is because they have been incorrectly classified. The rates and entitlements vary dramatically depending on what classification an employee is. Fair Work provides a complete guide on classifying staff. But, for a basic outline, see below:

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

  • On average works 38 hours each week.
  • Can be a permanent employee or on a fixed-term contract.

PART-TIME EMPLOYEES

  • On average work less than 38 hours per week.
  • Commonly work regular hours each week.
  • Can be a permanent employee or on a fixed-term contract.

CASUAL EMPLOYEES

  • Are employed with the understanding that there is no firm advance commitment to ongoing work with an agreed pattern of work.

Casual conversion

Some casuals are eligible to become permanent employees under Australian law. If a worker has been a casual for at least a year and worked consistent hours for six months, they may be eligible to become a permanent employee. Permanent employees are entitled to benefits like annual leave and sick leave, which you’ll need to take into account. For more information on casual conversion see Tanda’s complete guide on the topic.

The Aged Care Award includes casual conversion and you’ll need to take this into account when rostering employees. If casuals are eligible to become permanent it also grants them additional entitlements such as annual leave and sick leave.

Penalties and allowances

You should familiarise yourself with the basic penalties and allowances in modern awards.  For example, penalty rates give workers more money per hour for working inconvenient times, like a public holiday. By contrast, overtime gives workers more per hour if they have to work a shift that’s longer than their rostered hours.

Aged Care Award workers are also eligible for other typical allowances, like laundry, clothing and meals. The interpretation of these allowances can be complicated and depends on the situation of your business.

Leave entitlements

 

 

Workers employed under the Aged Care Award receive the same leave entitlements as the vast majority of employees in Australia. These are set out in the National Employment Standards (NES). The amount of leave is set out by the classification of the employee. Typically, casuals don’t receive annual leave entitlements, whereas part time and full time employees do.

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

  • Are entitled to paid leave including annual leave and sick & carer’s leave.

PART-TIME EMPLOYEES

  • Are entitled to paid leave including annual leave and sick & carer’s leave.

CASUAL EMPLOYEES

  • Are not entitled to paid leave including annual leave and sick & carer’s leave.
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