Aug 13, 2021

Aged care provider offers free local accommodation to struggling employees

Benetas to provide temporary accommodation for aged care workers

Research released recently by Everybody’s Home, shows that in certain areas of Victoria, essential workers are being priced out of the rental market as housing prices in regional markets boom. The research shows that, in particular, aged care workers are being required to use one- to two-thirds of their week’s wages simply to cover their rental fees.

In addition, Anglicare Australia this week released its landmark study Valuing Every Contribution, which found that three in four Australians would back an unconditional basic income above the poverty line for every person.  The report suggests this income security would see enormous economic and social benefits across the board.

Benetas CEO Sandra Hills OAM said that workforce issues in aged care are an ongoing challenge and we need to think outside the box in order to keep good people employed.

“At the moment, we have a number of employees wanting to work at our St Laurence Court Eaglehawk home in Bendigo, but are finding it extremely difficult to find affordable places to rent, or are having to commute every day from Melbourne,” she said.

“Fortunately we have some independent living units adjacent to the home which are vacant. For us, the independent living units are an obvious opportunity to provide a short-term solution for those employees to continue to work at the residential aged care home while staying next door for a reduced rent.”

Ms Hills explained that remuneration of aged care workers has long been an issue of contention in the sector.

“The issue was disappointingly not picked up as part of the Federal Government’s $17.7 billion funding response to the recommendations of the Aged Care Royal Commission,” she said.

“Many of our carers want to work part-time due to other commitments such as caring for family members or raising children.

“But with the challenges of rental affordability, particularly in regional areas, we are struggling to attract and keep really good carers in our aged care homes.

“We believe a guaranteed minimum wage would allow essential service workers, including those in aged care, to continue their important roles and contributions, particularly in areas where rental costs are disproportionately high in relation to their wage.

“It may also open up the market for aged care, which is in desperate need of a growing workforce going forward.

“But in the meantime, we will be doing all we can – including repurposing our independent living units – to make it possible for our incredible carers to do their job for the sake of our residents and their loved ones.”

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  1. I am really sick of employers saying that their employees only want part time employment or enjoy the ‘flexibility’ of casual employment.

    Let’s cut the BS. It obviously suits the employer. How about they explain why there are no full time carer jobs in nursing homes.

    If this is true then how was it that the virus swept through Melbourne nursing homes because casual or part time employees had to work across more than one home to get enough hours.

    Most people l know want and need full time jobs.

    This is the reason they cannot pay rent not that they have family commitments.

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