The election of the Albanese Federal Government is a win for the aged care sector and represents a significant milestone for our national campaign to fix the crisis.

Some important things are happening right now to reform the sector and implement some of the important recommendations of the Aged Care Royal Commission...

A pay rise for all aged care nurses and carers

Thanks to the ANMF and the QNMU's case in the Fair Work Commission, Awards in aged care have increased by 15%, as of 30 June 2023. Providers have received enough funding from the Federal Government to also give direct care workers who are paid above Award rates a pay increase that is equal to 15% of their applicable Award rate. This pay rise will apply from the first full pay period in July 2023.


RN 24/7, minimum care minutes and funding transparency become law

The Federal Government’s ‘Implementing Care Bill’ is now law, and legislates for:

  • Registered Nurses 24/7 from 1 July 2023
  • Mandated 200 minimum care minutes from 1 October 2023
  • Financial transparency and accountability on public funding.

This is the beginning of real reform. Change isn’t going to happen overnight, but change does start with the right laws in place and having a Federal Government that is committed to fixing the problem. And that’s exactly what we’ve been campaigning over many years for.
This kind of reform doesn’t happen without significant public support. Thank you to the countless QNMU Activists and aged care nurses and carers who have spoken out on the situation in aged care. Your voices have been heard, and it’s thanks to you that aged care has become the national issue it is today.

About our campaign to fix aged care

What's the issue in aged care?

Hard-pressed nurses and care staff are doing their best in often impossible circumstances, but there are simply not enough of them to provide the quality care they know they can.
That’s because there are currently no laws dictating how many nurses and support staff are required to provide safe care.

Australia has strict staff ratios for childcare. But there are no ratios for aged care.
In the last five years, Australia’s estimated 900 private aged care providers have received more than $60 billion federal taxpayer dollars. They do not have to publicly report how any of the funds are spent.
Many providers are putting profits above quality care. This is why we need safe staffing and financial reporting to be made LAW in aged care.

How do we fix it?

The QNMU, together with our federal body the ANMF, has four key reforms which must be addressed by the Federal Government to achieve the necessary changes in aged care.

  1. Registered Nurse in every nursing home 24 hours a day
  2. A mandated minimum 215 minutes of care per resident per day
  3. Funding real wage increases for aged care workers
  4. Ensuring funding accountability for providers

The Federal Government has now passed legislation to make these reforms a reality.

What did the Royal Commission say?

After more than two years of hearings and evidence, the Royal Commission released its final report to the public on 1 March 2021. The report, titled Care, Dignity and Respect, makes 148 recommendations and calls for fundamental reform of the aged care system.
These wide-ranging recommendations include:

  • A new Aged Care Act that puts older people first, enshrining their rights and providing a universal entitlement for high quality and safe care based on assessed need.
  • An Inspector-General of Aged Care to identify and investigate systemic issues and to publish reports of its findings.
  • A plan to deliver, measure and report on high quality aged care, including independent standard-setting, a general duty on aged care providers to ensure quality and safe care, and a comprehensive approach to quality measurement, reporting and star ratings.
  • Professionalising the aged care workforce through changes to education, training, wages, labour conditions and career progression.
  • Registration of personal care workers as well as a minimum staff time standard for residential aged care.
  • A minimum quality and safety standard for staff time in residential aged care, including an appropriate skills mix and daily minimum staff time for registered nurses, enrolled nurses and personal care workers for each resident, and at least one registered nurse on site at all times.
  • Strengthened provider governance arrangements to ensure independence, accountability and transparency.
  • Funding to meet the actual cost of high quality care and an independent Pricing Authority to determine the costs of delivering it.

Read a summary of the final report and full list of recommendations.