Aug 28, 2020

‘Day of distress’ as SA aged carers barred from jobs

The Marshall Government’s ban on aged carers working second jobs was a “day of distress” for carers and the residents they care for, United Workers Union Aged Care Director Carolyn Smith said.

As of yesterday (August 27), residential aged care workers in South Australia were banned from working in a second residential aged care facility.

Unlike a similar ban imposed in Victoria and subsequent financial hardship and staffing measures, there has been no package to address the considerable impact of the bans on the already low-paid aged care workforce and short-staffed facilities.

“Workers and residents are suffering because of the state and Federal Government’s poor planning for this crisis,” Ms Smith said. “Five months in, this state government is summarily banning workers from jobs with no plans for an additional workforce to cover the gaps.

“Once again, some of Australia’s lowest-paid workers are being asked to bear the economic brunt of this crisis. This ban leaves both aged care workers and those they care for facing a day of distress, with many more months of uncertainty and hardship to come.

“We have seen the scramble from the SA Department of Health in implementing this ban, with last-minute ‘two-jobs’ exemptions offered to providers because the Department knows the disaster short-staffed facilities face.

“Thought bubble announcements and ad hoc changes show there has been no Covid-19 plan for the aged care sector from either state or Federal Governments.”

SA aged care workers have revealed other impacts of the unclear rule changes:

– Providers incorrectly banning aged care workers from second jobs they are entitled to continue.

– Aged care workers being bullied by providers to nominate them as their continuing employer.

“It’s time for the Marshall Government to talk seriously with workers and their facilities, and put in place robust measures that address the distress,” Ms Smith said.


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