Mar 31, 2020

How will retention bonus be paid to aged care workers?

The Australian Government Department of Health has been working on the mechanisms, processes and guidelines in order to release these funds for workers and providers. Below is a series of FAQs to assist workers and providers prepare during these challenging circumstances.

How will the retention bonus payment to eligible full-time direct care workers be administered?

Full-time direct care workers in residential care facilities, including personal care workers, registered nurses, enrolled nurses and allied health will receive a ‘retention bonus’ of up to $800 per quarter, paid for two quarters.

Full-time home care workers will receive payments of up to $600 per quarter, for two quarters.  This includes workers providing clinical care, personal care, cleaning, home support activities and meal preparation, social support, shopping, community access and transport, allied health and respite.

The above rates are per Full-Time Employee (FTE).  There will also be pro rata payments for eligible part time and casual workers.

When will payments be made?

Payments are expected to be made in June and September for the preceding three month period. Details about the exacting timing of payments and how they will be made will be advised in due course.

How can the additional funding to support continuity of workforce supply for residential care providers be accessed?

The Government has announced $78.3 million in temporary additional funding for residential care to support additional costs and workforce supply pressures resulting from COVID-19. All residential aged care providers will receive a portion of additional funding. It is intended, for example, to help with the additional costs associated with hiring additional staff, covering workers while they’re self-isolating etc.

It will be administered through uplift to subsidies paid through Aged Care Funding Instrument with effect from 1 March 2020 to 31 August 2020. Funding will start to flow to providers from April 2020.

What about the specific additional funding for support for in the home providers?

The Government has allocated an additional $70.2 million for CHSP providers to support providers impacted by COVID-19.  This is in recognition of additional support that will need to be provided to care recipients because of the COVID-19 health emergency, including services for people in self-isolation.

How do CHSP providers access this funding?

All applicants must complete and submit an application form which can be requested from your Funding Arrangement Manager or by email from [email protected]. In this application form you should outline and justify the business need and demand for services and clearly articulate which service types and aged care planning regions will be affected and how much funding will be required.

What can CHSP providers use these funds for?

Where there is evidence of a significant financial impact to service delivery or workforce retention, CHSP service providers may submit an unsolicited proposal to the Department for additional grant funding.

This funding can be used to expand high demand CHSP services (e.g. Social Support Individual, Domestic Assistance, Personal Care, Nursing and essential Transport services), implement new and innovative service delivery models and in the retention of staff and volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Will there be any restrictions on what providers can use these funds for?

An unsolicited proposal may only be used by CHSP providers who are ineligible for Flexibility Provisions (i.e. they only deliver one CHSP service type) or have already fully utilised their Flexibility Provisions.

Specific information about what CHSP grant money can and cannot be used for can be found in Part 8 of the CHSP Grant Guidelines (2018), which is available on the Department’s website.

The Government has also allocated an additional $22 million in temporary subsidy increases for Home Care Packages to support providers’ additional costs and workforce supply pressures resulting from COVID-19. Funding will have effect from 1 March 2020 to 31 August 2020 and the additional funding will start to flow to providers from April 2020.

What about additional funding for services that support vulnerable or disadvantaged communities?

The Government has announced a temporary 30% increase to the Residential and Home Care Viability Supplements and the Homeless Supplement:

  • 30% increase to providers eligible for the residential care viability supplement
  • 30% increase to providers eligible for the home care viability supplement
  • 30% increase to providers eligible for the Homeless Supplement
  • Viability Supplement equivalent payment under the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program
  • Viability Supplement equivalent payment for Multi-Purpose Services

This additional funding recognises the particular cost and service delivery pressures eligible providers experience given their geography and/or the particular client groups they care for. This may be exacerbated by COVID-19 and the funding is available to support any additional cost pressures these providers face. Funding will have effect from 1 March 2020 to 31 August 2020 and the additional funding will start to flow to providers from April 2020.

Streamlined process to increase residential respite days

To assist residential aged care providers respond to the increased demand for respite care as a result the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Health has introduced a streamlined process for providers to apply to increase (or vary) the number of residential respite days at a service.

As part of this simplified process, to apply to change the maximum number of residential respite days, providers can now make a request via e-mail to the Department’s State or Territory office in which the aged care service is located.

A request to increase the number of respite days can be made by email and accepted with the following information:

  • Service name
  • Total Number of respite days required
  • Date of effect

Providers will then be notified of the outcome by email from the state/territory office.

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  1. And what about the catering teams, cleaners, laundry staff, activities teams, that are feeding, washing, cleaning and also looking after our residents. Just because we don’t shower a resident or dress them doesn’t mean the support workers are not “Front Line Staff”. We are supposed to be a team. Support Services work just as hard and on the most part on lesser money then nursing and care staff, yet are treated like second class. EVERYONE in Aged Care works under copious amounts of pressure everyday. To single out one part of the team is a huge slap in the face. Who do you think will cook, wash, iron, clean rooms, sanitise, do activities??

    1. Hopefully this is something the department are working on. I also hope teachers & early childhood educators are being considered for future retention bonuses.

    2. thank you Peter for supporting and highlighting our important contribution to aged care we all continue to carry out duties under copious conditions as an RAO we distract , involve, explain and support our beautiful dementia and ageing residents , why are we excluded ??

    3. 100 % agree with you Peter, most of the time us cleaners end up doing most of the work for the careers ( what we are allowed to do).

    4. I’m pretty sure that if you work for a reputable organization they will include you. If they don’t i’d think of working elsewhere as they don’t value you enough

  2. Being a part time personal care worker im still doing many shifts our “full time” care worker’s are not turning up for. Why aren’t we included in some form of payment as we too are front line worker’s but are not treated equally.

    1. I’m a part time worker but I do more job that this full time worker does, isn’t it so unfair that full time is well protected when we part time are always there wile some full time worker they can call sick and not showing to work anytime they want as they know they are very secure having job position.we part time worker designed small hours but we are the one doing so much hours of work esp. Now with what’s happening and we ate doing our best to provide best care that age care needed. Pleas be fair all workers part time casual fulltime are all same as front liner and putting risk our whole family by kept going to work. Wile others resting on there house have more time with family. If I’ll be given a choice concourse I rather stay home have more time with my family and kids but we have to work putting our everyday life at risk and might bring it to our whole family at home then this is what we’re gonna have. Pleas kindly review your decision and give us some equal importanye.thank u

      1. From what I’ve read in this article part-time and casual staff will receive Pro-rata payments…. I’m just not 100% what type of staff they are referring too….they certainly seem to be covering care staff & nurses…

  3. How about full time carers who work 24×7 at home, caring for the elderly relatives. Don’t we deserve retention bonus more than these workers??

    1. Sorry if i’m not correct but do you not already qualify for the 2 x $750 payment as you maybe receiving a carers pension?

  4. Once again the support services miss out on any money
    I have always paid taxes and there is no mention of the support service workers receiving any extra money they work hard just as much as the care staff but again there is no mention of them or the low income workers receiving any extra money it is so unfair

  5. I work in Admin, I don’t do personal care but I am taking people’s temperatures, I often take residents to their rooms from activities or the salon, residents come to me for advice or to ask questions. I am also a support person for staff & I sit with residents & give emotional support if they need it, so will I be getting any money?

    1. I am also admin and we are frontline for people that come to the facility for repairs, goods being delivered, families dropping things off and new residents coming into the facility so I would think we are at a very high risk.

  6. I am part time personal care worker and I am doing 67 hr fortnight plus picking up one more shift all the time, finally I have 75 hr fortnight, and I am working more than 4 years in aged care facility. So many staff are working as I am. I think, we deserve retention bonus too.

  7. Hi Ann, I agree. Not only am I a community care worker, but I also am my wife’s principal carer. Michele has assistance, 4 days a week, whilst I’m at work.
    I cannot agree enough full time 24 x 7 carers should be compensated.

  8. Its not fare the payment only for full time.i am also casual worker in aged care but we are working same.

  9. please read
    “In terms of salary, pro rata refers to the proportion, or percentage, a part-time employee would receive if she worked full-time. Pro rata may also apply when an employer makes certain deductions from your salary.”

  10. When will we be paid the bonus?. Our admin team at my aged care service are unaware of what is going on re the date of payments.

  11. Why only Aged Care? What about for RNs, AINs and Ens who work in a disability sectors, funded by NDIS?

  12. Is The stimulus package for all sectors of health care, in home care, cleaning, meal prep, med prompt, transporting, respite, if so how and when will this be distributed? Will this come through our employer? Or is this automatically deposteded into our bank accounts. Is this payed through th tax office? The reaso I ask is the tax office have all the details of all employees each company has on their books,

  13. Im an enrolled nurse employed as casual in aged care i have read that we will all be paid this bonas i june and sep but i have not heard that anyone has been paid yet including myself , so is there anyone that can advise me when the payment will be paid ?

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