Aged care newsletter

Posted on
June 16, 2020
in
Aged Care Sector

Your sector update

Boss applied for the retention bonus? We’re making sure of it

While the minister has continued to water down and exclude workers from the aged care retention bonus it’s important to remember that, for those who do qualify, your employer still needs to make application for the payment in the first place.

Applications are now open and we know many of you haven’t been told one way or the other by your employer whether they’ll be applying. We are writing to all the major aged care employers to get it straight from the horse’s mouth.

Workers shouldn’t be missing out so if you’ve heard that your organisation isn’t applying please let us know ASAP.

Minister fails aged care workers on COVID-19… again

Last week the Minister added insult to injury for aged care workers. Not only has the Minister stubbornly refused to include many front-line workers in the scheme, but he has now said that those who were included will get even less.

On 20 March the Minister spruiked his COVID-19 ‘retention bonus’ as being $800 after tax per quarter – paid for two quarters for direct care workers and $600 after tax per quarter, for two quarters, for those who provide care in the home. Now he says that’s before tax. What a joke.

The minister needs to quit with the back flips and acknowledge your work. Need more info on eligibility? Click here.

Pay boost to flow through July 1

Late last year, the Fair Work Commission accepted our claim that all workers employed casually in aged care are to be paid their 25% casual loading in addition to penalty rates for working on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. This change comes into effect on 1 July 2020.

For the average aged care worker this equates to an hourly pay increase of $5.56. The increase will be applied to the Social, Community,Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award (SCHADS) and the Aged Care Award and will also form part of the new requirement when making new enterprise agreements.

This is a fantastic win for tens of thousands of the lowest paid workers in the country who do invaluable work supporting some of the most vulnerable Australians.

Social media beware

With everyone feeling isolated and spending more time on social media to stay connected with their friends and family, HACSUassist has seen an influx in members receiving disciplinary letters with regards to their conduct on social media websites.

Whilst HACSU representation has saved a number of employees,you should always think twice before posting anything related to work on social media as it’s generally classified as a public space – even when you have your privacy settings set to only friends.  Sometimes groups or pages might not be private due to other people’s settings, or because other group members choose to share the content online or in person. Even if you haven’t posted the content, if it contains something identifying your employer and you comment/like/share it you may still face allegations for breaches of their social media policy.

You have a right to a private life and to post content on social media, but always make sure that you have permission to post any content that identifies your employer and that you aren’t bullying or harassing anyone from work. If you aren’t aware of your company’s social media policy, we recommend asking for a copy and making sure you know it.

HACSU is here to help. If you are ever worried about something at work, call us right away on 1300 880 032.

Unions push for 20 days family & domestic violence leave

Every employee, including part-time and casual, is entitled to 5 days unpaid family and domestic violence leave each year and this comes from the National Employment Standards (NES).

If you’re on an award, all industry and occupation awards include the unpaid family and domestic violence leave and the modern award entitlement is for the same amount of leave as the NES entitlement.

If you’re on an agreement, employees covered by Fair Work Commission (FWC) registered agreements or enterprise agreements may be entitled to other paid or unpaid entitlements in their specific agreements, which will describe the entitlement and how to access them. If the modern award or any FWC agreement provides less than the minimum entitlements in the NES, the NES entitlements apply.

While some employers are generous and give 5-10 days paid with an additional 5-10 days at the employer’s discretion, unions want to see 20 days of paid leave available to every employee.

Someone who suffers from domestic violence often has little or no personal leave credits, which is directly related to their home life, not their quality of work – and, unfairly, that can mean they’re seen as a bad employee and may not be supported by their boss.

Accessing paid leave allows someone to take time out to deal with the significant physical, emotional, psychological, legal and practical consequences of domestic violence. This can include accessing medical care and counselling, meeting with police and solicitors, attending court, finding and moving into new accommodation, and arranging new schools or childcare.

Providing domestic violence leave raises awareness of the issue, reduces stigma, and demonstrates care for staff, and the offer of leave also increases the likelihood of an employee disclosing their issues at home,giving an opportunity for workplaces to further support them to stay safe while working and to get help before the situation escalates into something more dangerous.

When your staff agreement comes up for negotiation, we hope you and your colleagues all band together to push for this just and very important claim.

Nursing survey

UTAS are conducting a survey into the health and well being of nursing staff in the state and are looking for feedback. Interested? Click here.

 

For more information about this or any other industrial matter, members should contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email assist@hacsu.org.au or complete our online contact form

Aged Care Sector