Aged care newsletter

Posted on
September 14, 2020
Aged Care Sector

Your sector update.

There has been no shortage of activity across the aged care sector this month – in fact, it seems like we’ve seen a new story almost every day splashed across the front page.

Here are the main events:  

  • The third annual Thank You for Working in Aged Care Day rolled out across the state
  • Labor committed to minimum staffing levels for residential aged care
  • The aged care minister didn’t have the figures for COVID-19 deaths in aged care, later apologised in parliament for that but then walked out immediately after, dodging further scrutiny
  • The figures out of Victoria got worse and worse, while the Aged Care Royal Commission hearings rolled on


Some things you may have missed: 

  • Deloitte Access Economics, one of the biggest accountancy firms in the country, provided a report to Royal Commission raising the prospect of a 1% increase in income tax to fix the issues in aged care
  • Our sister union in NSW floated the idea of a Medicare Levy increase to address the myriad of issues in the sector, including wages 

How have the peak aged care employer lobbies reacted? We hear that instead of using some of that $13 billion in taxpayer revenue, employers are to target the need for minimum staffing levels, improved wages and training etc and aged care employers plan to pitch in for an ad campaign to ‘change the conversation’ and ‘win the hearts and minds of middle Australia’. We are hopeful that means addressing the real issue at the heart of the system, but we will wait and see.

In the meantime be sure to check out if you haven’t had a chance yet. It outlines our plans to push for real change in the sector to help workers help residents. 


Thank You for Working in Aged Care Day! 

What a big week we had in Aged Care last week as we celebrated with many aged care workers on their special day on 2 September – Thank You For Working In Aged Care Day - and you can see a few photos from the week here

Our organisers put in countless kilometres getting out to aged care facilities all around the state all through the week to make sure as many members as possible had the chance to win the prizes on offer!

We’re very happy to announce the winners:  

  • GOLDEN TICKET – Lisa Jacklyn, Meercroft - nw coast
  • SILVER TICKET – Sally Walker, Bupa - south
  • BRONZE TICKET – Kathryn Allen, SCC Glenara Lakes - north 

We thank each and every aged care worker who look after our most vulnerable in the community – not just on our annual Thank You day, but every day. 


Continued push for Portable Long Service Leave  

HACSU has been pushing for portable long service leave for the aged care sector, as well as or community and disability services, for quite some time now.
HACSU believes long service leave is an entitlement that is intended to apply to all Tasmanian workers, but many workers in the sector don't get the opportunity to take it because, through no fault of their own, they are unable to work with the same employer long enough to qualify.

Many workers are unable stay with the one employer because of casualisation and there not being enough hours available at one facility, leaving workers to move on to another employer to try to gain a more permanent position or to further their career in a different role. 

Aged care work is fast-paced, stressful and mentally and physically strenuous so being able to take long service leave to recharge and take time out is extremely important to an aged care worker.

HACSU will continue to push for portable long service leave for those working in the aged care sector. 


The importance of writing notes & handover, should you be asked in an investigation 

A recent external investigation has highlighted the importance of proper documentation and handover notes.
Here are some best practise tips:
- Because some workers perform different functions on different shifts, it’s important to make sure you put the initials of your workmates and record who performed which job on the shift. Don’t just say that you and another worker provided care.
- It’s important for accuracy in case the staff member you worked with wasn’t rostered on the shift.
- If you report an incident to a team leader or a nurse in charge, write the initials of who you reported the incident to – don't just state that you reported it.
- If you report something to another organisation, make sure you know who the person was that you reported it to.
- If you're going to say a resident was unsettled, you need to say why your felt they were and what you did to try to help them out. You also need to use the initials of the resident or room number of the resident so they can be identified.
- The time that event/s occurred is also important in case a timeline of events needs to be established down the track.

Remember, you may get asked about what happened weeks or months down the track, and after a few weeks one day blends into another, so thorough notes will help you out if you're asked about something that happened a long time ago.

If something goes to an investigation and the regulator gets involved, you need a paper trail to protect yourself - so, where possible, we urge you to err on the side of caution and follow these tips.

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

Aged Care Sector