Sep 01, 2020

Third retention bonus for aged care staff


The federal government has announced an additional $500 million for the aged care sector, including more than $150 million for a third aged care worker retention bonus payment.

“Aged Care workers are continuing to provide invaluable care for our senior Australians,” aged care minister Richard Colbeck said in a statement.

The government has allocated $154.5 million for the third Workforce Retention Payment, which will be paid to those employed as of 30 November 2020.

“This will provide a financial incentive for workers to continue to provide the frontline care that is needed in facilities across the country,” the minister said. 

The third payment will have the same eligibility criteria as the first two rounds of the retention bonus. 

The first bonus was paid in July, and the second is scheduled for September.

The government has a plan

The minister statement said the additional funding is intended to support the government’s ‘aged care response plan’.

The wording is deliberate; the government is under increasing scrutiny for the way it has handled aged care’s response to COVID-19.

A fortnight ago, counsel assisting the Royal Commision into Aged Care Quality and Safety, Peter Rozen QC, said the government had failed to adequately plan for aged care to cope with pandemic, despite the risks to older people living in residential care being well known.

The pressure on the minister intensified last week after he could not answer a question in a senate inquiry about how many aged care residents had died from COVID-19.

Funds to boost infection control

Yesterday’s announcement takes the government’s support for the aged care sector to more than $1.5 billion since the pandemic began.

“We are committed to supporting senior Australians in Aged Care, workers and providers in Victoria to respond to the ongoing crisis and are putting in place critical actions to ensure we remain prepared across the country,” Mr Colbeck said.

Of the package, $245 million will go to aged care facilities to boost infection control capabilities, including having on-site clinical specialists, increasing staffing levels, communicating with families, and managing visits to residents.

A nod to greater transparency

One of the longstanding problems in aged care has been the lack of transparency around how government funds are spent. This latest announcement from the government attempts to address the issue.

“Providers will be required to report how these funds were used for additional COVID-19 related costs through strict requirements in providers’ end of financial year returns,” the statement says.

Up to nearly $1,500 per resident

Providers will receive approximately $975 per resident in major cities, and approximately $1,435 per resident in all other areas.

Providers should expect to receive the funds by early October.

The government will maintain for another six months its 30 per cent top up of the viability supplement and the residential care homeless supplement.

More support for those who wish to move home

The government will direct $92.4 million for up to 12 weeks to help providers implement single site workforce arrangements in the hotspots of Greater Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.

If new hotspots emerge, further funding will be “activated”.

The government has also allocated $71.4 million to increase support through the Commonwealth Home Support Program for older Australians who wish to move from residential aged care to live with their families due to concerns about COVID-19.


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  1. It would be nice for us as PCA’s working in Home Care received some sort of a Bonus too, we haven’t stopped work and our hourly rate is nothing short of disgusting for the work we do whether it be In Home or in a Nursing Home.

    1. PCAs (Personal Carers) working in home care (and residential care) are entitled to the retention bonus, if their employer applied for it. PCAs wages are disgraceful. You can join the fight for better wages in aged care by joining the QNMU.

    2. Spot on. Our provider charges over double the measly hourly rate of our PCAs plus hefty admin fees and ‘travel allowances’, which begs the question: where is all the money going?

  2. You talk about the third bonus where I work in a RACF we are still waiting for the first payment I will be very interested to see just how much I actually receive on average I work 70-80 hours per fortnight but am only contracted for 46 does anyone know if it is going to be on hours worked or contacted hours?

    1. Its paid on how long u bèen at your work place, how many hours you work per fortnight, we still waiting for 3rd bonus, their hanging on to it to get the interest, paid in January my arse,

  3. What about the lifestyle & well being staff? The mental health (well being) of consumers are of paramount importance to recreational staff members as we, recreational staff, are on the front line, keeping consumers engaged, active and not feeling isolated. We are not only ‘bingo players’! Aged care is not just about the clinical staff. How do recreational staff members continue to be motivated when not acknowledged for the work they do.

  4. You talk about the bonus , what about the front line workers who are not included: ie the Diversional Therapists and Recreational Activities Officers who spend 6-8 hours a day providing leisure and recreation activities as well as emotional , culutural , religious support and are also implementing window visits , zoom and Skype calls to keep residents socially connected to family. All whilst maintaining social distancing , extra cleaning and hygiene procedures quite often with 1-2 staff to 50 -100 residents. Also attending unmet needs/ behaviours of concern eg wsndering etc etc. So before paying further payments how about addressing the essential workers who got missed the first time around including Maintenace , administration, and cleaning staff ..

  5. Where I work we are still waiting for our first payment. One day it will happen. Just intersted how the amount is actually worked out a friend works 71 hrs a fortnight for another company and only recieved $340. So what happened to the $800 less tax.

  6. We just received the first bonus and it was taxed to be honest didnt feel that I amd some other colleagues got payed right, is there even a 2nd payment ?? Now a third???
    We PCAs are on the front line wearing the PPE and doing it tough caring for the residents which we would do 4 our own, doing it tough, give us health workers the money we deserve not taxed please ✌

  7. It all depends on the hours you worked in the 4 weeks before your company put their application through. Then they calculate the hours you worked in those 4 weeks and find the average, and thats how much you get and how its based on.

  8. We received the bonus but was put in with our fortnightly wages so lost most in tax, as this is a bonus payment why is it not taxed on its own ? Why call it a bonus when not paid as one

    1. Hi
      I don’t know if tricare nursing home Brisbane has been paid from government yet. We should receive the third pay by February but we have asked the company. They told us they have not received money from government yet. As we aware that government has sent it the third pay on 30 November. Canyon please find down information?


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