15% wage increase for aged care sector

Aged care news article bannerPublished 24 March 2023 | Updated 1 July 2023

Minimum wages increase from 1 July 2023

From the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2023:

  • the National Minimum Wage increased to $882.80 per week or $23.23 per hour
  • award minimum wages increased by 5.75%.

You can now find these new rates in our Pay and Conditions Tool  and Pay guides.

Learn more at Minimum wages increase from 1 July 2023.

Direct care and some senior food services employees in the aged care sector will receive a 15% wage increase from 30 June 2023.

15% minimum wage increase

The Fair Work Commission (the Commission) has made a decision to increase minimum wages by 15% for some employees working in aged care. Please note this decision is separate to the Annual Wage Review.

The Commission is the national workplace relations tribunal. They set minimum award pay rates and entitlements.

This increase applies to eligible employees covered by the:

  • Aged Care Award
  • Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry (SCHADS) Award
  • Nurses Award.

It takes effect from the start of the employee’s first full pay period on or after 30 June 2023.

Who the increase applies to

The increase applies to direct care employees working in aged care.

Direct care employees are those who work in caring roles in the following award classifications:

  • Aged Care Award: personal care workers (PCWs) and recreation/lifestyle activities officers
  • Nurses Award: nursing assistants, enrolled nurses, registered nurses, nurse practitioners working in aged care
  • SCHADS Award: home care workers working in aged care.

The 15% increase also applies to the most senior food services employee (levels 4-7):

  • covered by the Aged Care Award
  • working at a particular aged care facility or site.

Who the increase doesn't apply to

The 15% increase doesn’t include other employees in the aged care sector. This includes:

  • support and administrative employees
  • chefs and cooks covered by the Aged Care Award who aren’t the most senior food services employee at a particular aged care facility or site.

When our tools will be updated

Our Pay and Conditions Tool has been updated with the new pay rates.

Registered agreements

The increase in minimum pay rates applies to these 3 awards only. As a general rule, the increase won’t be automatically applied to rates in agreements. However, the minimum pay rate in an agreement can’t be less than the new minimum award rates.

If you’re covered by an agreement, check your minimum pay rate to make sure you’re getting the right pay. You can look up your agreement by searching the Fair Work Commission – Find an agreement database.

Annual Wage Review

From 1 July 2023, all minimum award wages increased by 5.75% because of the Annual Wage Review decision.

For employees affected by the 15% aged care sector decision, this means that the minimum wage changed:

  • from the first pay period commencing on or after 30 June 2023
  • again from the first pay period commencing on or after 1 July 2023.

Our Pay and Conditions Tool has now been updated with the new pay rates.

Background to increase

The Commission has been reviewing wages in these 3 awards as part of a work value case for the aged care sector.

On 4 November 2022, the Commission issued a decision to grant a 15% interim increase in minimum wages for affected aged care employees in the 3 awards. They confirmed this increase by issuing a final decision on 21 February 2023.

The Commission is still considering some other issues in the work value case. This includes:

  • classification definitions and structures in the 3 awards
  • wages adjustments for some other aged care employees that may be justified on work value grounds.

We’ll update you of any significant changes that affect you. You can access updates direct from the Commission at Work value case – Aged care industry.

Related information

Pay rates

Our Pay and Conditions Tool has been updated with the new pay rates. You can use our tool to calculate minimum pay rates, allowances and other entitlements.

Decisions

You can learn more about the work value case happening at the Commission at Work value case – Aged care industry. You can access decisions and final determinations there too.

Awards

Unsure of your award? Use our 3-step Find my award tool to help work out what you’re covered by. Reading your award can help determine if you’re covered by it too.

If you know your award already, you can access it direct from our List of awards page.

Agreements

If you’re covered by an agreement, check your minimum pay rate to make sure you’re getting the right pay. You can look up your agreement by searching the Fair Work Commission – Find an agreement database.