Aged Care Award Summary

In this article, we detail some of the key provisions of the Aged Care Award including what it covers for employers and employees throughout Australia who are wholly or principally engaged in the “aged care industry”.

HR Connect advises a large number of organisations in this sector and has produced this Aged Care Award Summary to help employers cut through the complexities of the award.

If you require any assistance in understanding your rights or obligations under the Award, please contact us.

 

Table of Contents

=
COVERAGE
=
CLASSIFICATION DEFINITIONS AND MINIMUM WAGES
=
TYPES OF EMPLOYEES
=
ORDINARY HOURS OF WORK AND ROSTERING
=
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY WORK
=
BREAKS
=
OVERTIME RATES
=
SHIFT WORK
=
HIGHER DUTIES
=
PAYMENT OF WAGES
=
ALLOWANCES
=
LEAVE AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
=
CONSULTATION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION
=
NOTICE OF TERMINATION
=
REDUNDANCY
=
RATES OF PAY
=
FAQs
=
COVERAGE
=
CLASSIFICATION DEFINITIONS AND MINIMUM WAGES
=
TYPES OF EMPLOYEES
=
ORDINARY HOURS OF WORK AND ROSTERING ARRANGEMENTS
=
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY WORK
=
BREAKS
=
OVERTIME RATES
=
SHIFT WORK
=
HIGHER DUTIES
=
PAYMENT OF WAGES
=
ALLOWANCES
=
LEAVE AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
=
CONSULTATION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION
=
NOTICE OF TERMINATION
=
REDUNDANCY
=
RATES OF PAY
=
FAQs

Coverage

The Aged Care Award 2010 covers employees throughout Australia who are employed in the “aged care industry”.

The Award defines “aged care industry to mean “accommodation and care services for aged persons in a hostel, nursing home, aged care independent living units, aged care serviced apartments, garden settlement, retirement village or any other residential accommodation facility”.

The Award therefore covers employees employed to provide care to aged persons in care homes or homes for elderly, but does not cover care workers who provide care to elderly people in their own, private accommodation. Nor does it cover people working with aged persons in the community. Such employees would be more likely to be covered by the SCHADS Award.

 

Classification Definitions And Minimum Wages​

As will be seen from the list of roles covered by the Award set out below, it does not just include carers, but also roles as varied as cooking and gardening. Clerical and administrative employees are also covered by the Aged Care Award, so this will apply, rather than the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2020.

There are seven employee classification levels within the Award. These dictate the minimum wage paid to the employee. Minimum wages are stated in clause 14 of the Award, or can be found within the applicable pay guide found on the Fair Work Ombudsman website. These rates typically increase on the 1 July each year.

However, the Fair Work Commission has also ordered a 15% increase for certain employees in the Aged Care Award  to apply from 1 July 2023, see our earlier article on this. This will apply in addition to the usual 1 July increases to all modern awards.

A summary of the classification levels in the Award are as follows:

 

Level 1

A Level 1 position is an entry level position and applies to an employee who has less than three months’ work experience in the industry and performs basic duties.

An employee at this level:

  • works within established routines, methods and procedures.
  • has minimal responsibility, accountability or discretion.
  • works under direct or routine supervision, either individually or in a team; and
  • requires no previous experience or training.

Indicative tasks performed at this level are:

General and administrative services Food services
General clerk Food services assistant
Laundry hand  
Cleaner  
Assistant gardener  

 

Level 2

An employee at this level:

  • is capable of prioritising work within established routines, methods, and procedures.
  • is responsible for work performed with a limited level of accountability or discretion.
  • works under limited supervision, either individually or in a team.
  • possesses sound communication skills; and
  • requires specific on-the-job training and/or relevant skills training or experience.

Indicative tasks performed at this level are:

General and administrative services Food services Personal care
General clerk/Typist (between 3 months ‘and less than 1 years’ service) Food services assistant Personal care worker grade 1
Laundry hand    
Cleaner    
Gardener (non-trade)    
Maintenance/Handyperson (unqualified)
   
Driver (less than 3 ton)
   

 

Level 3

An employee at this level:

  • is capable of prioritising work within established routines, methods and procedures (non admin/clerical)
  • is responsible for work performed with a medium level of accountability or discretion (non admin/clerical)
  • works under limited supervision, either individually or in a team (non admin/clerical)
  • possesses sound communication and/or arithmetic skills (non admin/clerical)
  • requires specific on-the-job training and/or relevant skills training or experience (non admin/clerical);and
  • In the case of an admin/clerical employee, undertakes a range of basic clerical functions within established routines, methods and procedures.

Indicative tasks performed at this level are:

General and administrative services Food services Personal care
General clerk/Typist (second and subsequent years of service) Cook Personal care worker grade 2
Receptionist   Recreational/Lifestyle activities officer (unqualified)
Pay clerk    
Driver (less than 3 ton) who is required to hold a St John Ambulance first aid certificate    

 

Level 4

An employee at this level:

  • is capable of prioritising work within established policies, guidelines and procedures.
  • is responsible for work performed with a medium level of accountability or discretion.
  • works under limited supervision,either individually or in a team.
  • possesses good communication,interpersonal and/or arithmetic skills; and
  • requires specific on-the-job training, may require formal qualifications and/or relevant skills training or experience.
  • in the case of a personal care worker, holds a relevant Certificate 3 qualification (or possesses equivalent knowledge and skills) and uses the skills and knowledge gained from that qualification in the performance of their work.

Indicative tasks performed at this level are:

General and administrative services Food services Personal care
Senior clerk Senior cook (trade) Personal care worker grade 3
Senior receptionist    
Maintenance/Handyperson (qualified)    
Driver (3 ton and over)
   
Gardener (trade or TAFE Certificate III or above)    

 

Level 5

An employee at this level:

  • is capable of functioning semi-autonomously,and prioritising their own work within established policies,guidelines and procedures;
  • is responsible for work performed with a substantial level of accountability;
  • works either individually or in a team;
  • may assist with supervision of others;
  • requires a comprehensive knowledge of medical terminology and/or a working knowledge of health insurance schemes (admin/clerical);
  • may require basic computer knowledge or be required to use a computer on a regular basis;
  • possesses administrative skills and problem solving abilities;
  • possesses well developed communication,interpersonal and/or arithmetic skills;and
  • requires substantial on-the-job training,may require formal qualifications at trade or certificate level and/or relevant skills training or experience.

Indicative tasks performed at this level are:

General and administrative services Food services Personal care
Secretary interpreter (unqualified) Chef Personal care worker grade 4

 

 

Level 6

An employee at this level:

  • is capable of functioning with a high level of autonomy,and prioritising their work within established policies,guidelines and procedures;
  • is responsible for work performed with a substantial level of accountability and responsibility;
  • works either individually or in a team;
  • may require comprehensive computer knowledge or be required to use a computer on a regular basis;
  • possesses administrative skills and problem solving abilities;
  • possesses well developed communication,interpersonal and/or arithmetic skills;and
  • may require formal qualifications at post-trade or Advanced Certificate or Associate Diploma level and/or relevant skills training or experience.

Indicative tasks performed at this level are:

General and administrative services Food services
Maintenance tradesperson (advanced) Senior Chef
Gardener (advanced)
 
 
Level 7

An employee at this level:

  • is capable of functioning autonomously,and prioritising their work and the work of others within established policies,guidelines and procedures;
  • is responsible for work performed with a substantial level of accountability and responsibility;
  • may supervise the work of others,including work allocation,rostering and guidance;
  • works either individually or in a team;
  • may require comprehensive computer knowledge or be required to use a computer on a regular basis;
  • possesses developed administrative skills and problem solving abilities;
  • possesses well developed communication,interpersonal and/or arithmetic skills;and
  • possesses well developed communication,interpersonal and/or arithmetic skills;and
  • may require formal qualifications at trade or Advanced Certificate or Associate Diploma level and/or relevant skills training or experience.

Indicative tasks performed at this level are:

General and administrative services Food services Personal care
Clerical supervisor Chef/ Food Services Supervisor Personal care worker grade 5
Interpreter (qualified)    
Gardener superintenden    
General services supervisor    

Types of employees

Employees must be informed at the time of engagement whether they are classified as:

  • Full-time;
  • Part-time; or
  • Casual

 

Full-time employees

Full-time employees must be engaged to work one of the patterns below:

  •     38 ordinary hours per week
  •     an average of 38 hours per week worked over: 
    • 76 hours per fortnight
    • 114 hours per 21 days or
    •  152 hours per four week period

Full-time employees must receive a minimum payment of four hours for each day or shift they work.

 

Part-time employees

Part-time employees work an average of less than 38 ordinary hours per week and have reasonably predictable hours of work.

Before commencement the employer and employee need to agree in writing on a regular pattern of work including:

  • the number of hours to be worked each week
  • the days of the week the employee will work
  • the starting and finishing times each day.

Any variation to the hours of work will need to be agreed in writing.

Permanent part-time employees will receive a minimum payment of two hours for each day or shift they work.

 

Casual employees

Casual employees generally work irregular hours. The Awards states that they may work up to and including 38 ordinary hours per week.

Casual employees are also entitled to an additional 25% casual loading on top of  the minimum hourly rate paid to permanent employees. The casual loading is paid instead of annual leave, personal/carer’s leave, notice of termination and redundancy benefits.

Casual employees will receive a minimum payment of two hours for each engagement.

Casual Conversion

The Award references the entitlement under the National Employment Standards for casual employees to convert to permanent employment. A casual employee is generally entitled to convert to permanent if:

(a) the employee has been employed by the employer for 12 months;

(b) during at least the last 6 months of that period, the employee has worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis which could continue to be worked as a full-time or part-time employee; and

(c) there are no reasonable business grounds for not converting the employee.

Please see our guidance on casual conversion here.

Aged Care Award 2010 Summary

Ordinary hours of work and rostering

Span of hours

The Award has different rules for “day workers” and “shiftworkers”

The “span” of hours in which a “day worker” may work their ordinary hours are:

  •       between 6:00am and 6:00pm Monday to Friday.

An employee who regularly is rostered to work their ordinary hours outside this spread of hours will be considered a shift-worker.

Hours worked outside the span of hours by day workers must be paid as overtime.

 

Ordinary hours of work

The ordinary hours of work are 38 hours per week, or an average of 38 hours per week. These hours can be averaged as follows:

  1. 38 hours per week;
  2. 76 hours per fortnight;
  3. 114 hours per 21 days; or
  4. 152 hours per 4 week period.

Ordinary hours of work must be worked either: 

  1. In a period of 28 calendar days of not more than 20 work days in a roster cycle;
  2. In a period of 28 calendar days of not more than 19 work days in a roster cycle, with the 20th day taken as an accrued paid day off (ADO); or
  3. 8 hours on a day shift or 10 hours on a night shift.

Hours worked in excess of this are to be paid as overtime.

Accumulation and taking of accrued days off (ADOs)

Where the employer operates an ADO system (ie employees working 8 hours per day for 19 days but only paid for 7.6 hours a day, and the 20th day being taken as a paid day off), then the following rules apply for full-time employees: 

  1. ADOs must be taken within 12 months of the date on which the first full ADO accrued.
  2. Where an employee’s employment terminates for any reason, accumulated ADOs must be paid to the employee at ordinary rates.
  3. The taking of an employee’s ADO will be determined, by mutual agreement between the employee and the employer, having regard to the needs of the place of employment or sections thereof. Such ADO will, where practicable, be consecutive with their rostered days off. ADOs will not be rostered on public holidays.

 

Rostered days off

Excluding casual employees – employees should be rostered off for at least two full days in each week, or four full days in each fortnight or eight full days in each 28 day cycle. Where practicable, days off will be consecutive.

Break between rostered periods of work

Employees should be allowed a break of not less than 10 hours between the termination of one shift or period of duty and the commencement of another.

This rest break can be reduced to 8 hours by mutual agreement.

 

Rosters

Rosters must be provided to employees at least two weeks prior to the commencing date of the roster period (other than for causal or reliving staff).

Roster changes may be made with seven days notice.

Rosters may be altered at any time to enable the service of the organisation to be carried on where another employee is absent from duty due to illness or in an emergency.

 This does not apply where the only change to the roster is the mutually agreed addition of extra hours for part-time employees.

 

Broken Shifts

A broken shift means a shift worked by a casual or permanent part-time employee that includes breaks (other than a meal break) totalling not more than four hours and where the span of hours is not more than 12 hours.

Full-time employees cannot work broken shifts.

Where a broken shift is worked:

  • A broken shift may be worked where there is mutual agreement between both parties.
  • Payment for a broken shift will be at ordinary pay with penalty rates and shift allowances. Shift allowances are determined by the commencing time of the broken shift.
  • All work performed beyond the maximum span of 12 hours will be paid at double time.
  • An employee must receive a minimum break of 10 hours between broken shifts rostered on successive days.
  • Each portion of the shift must meet the minimum engagement requirements (eg be at least 2 hours long).

 

Sleepovers

A sleepover is when an employer requires an employee to sleep in at night in order to be on call for emergencies. Although the Award states that no work other than that of an emergency nature (defined as “any unplanned occurrence or event requiring prompt action”) may be required to be performed during a sleepover, the Award does include provisions which detail how non-emergency work is to be paid.

The following conditions apply to each night of a sleepover:

  • The span for a sleepover will be not less than 8 hours and not more than 10 hours on any one night.
  • The employee will be provided with free board and lodging for each night they are required to sleepover.
  • Employees will be provided with a separate room with a bed and use of staff facilities or client facilities where applicable.
  • The employee will be entitled to a sleepover allowance of 5.2% of the “standard rate” set by the Award for each night on which they sleep over (ie the minimum weekly wage for a full-time Aged Care Employee – Level 6).
  • In the event an employee is directed to perform work other than that of an emergency nature during the sleepover period, the employee will be paid the appropriate hourly rates set out below from the start of the sleepover to the end of the non-emergency work, or from the start of the non-emergency work to the end of the sleepover, whichever is the lesser.

All time worked during any sleepover will count as time worked, and be paid in accordance with the following:

Employment Type Sleepover Work Rates
Full-time employees Overtime rates.
Permanent part-time employees Ordinary pay plus applicable shift and weekend penalties, provided that, if the total number of hours worked on that day exceeds the number of hours worked by full-time employees, or 11 hours where there are no such full-time employees, then the excess hours worked on that day will be paid for at overtime rates, and provided further that if the total number of hours worked in the week exceeds 38 hours, or exceeds 76 hours in the fortnight, the excess hours worked in that week or fortnight will be paid at overtime rates.
Casual employees Ordinary pay plus applicable shift and weekend penalties, provided that if the total number of hours worked in the week exceeds 38 hours, or exceeds 76 hours in the fortnight, then the excess hours worked in that week or fortnight will be paid for at overtime rates.

Performing work before or after a sleepover

An employer may roster a sleepover to commence immediately at the conclusion of an employee’s shift and continuous with that shift; and/or immediately prior to the employee’s shift and continuous with that shift. An employee cannot be required to sleepover during any part of their rostered days off or ADOs.

 

Breaks between periods of work

An employee who performs so much work during sleepover periods between the termination of their ordinary work on any day or shift and the commencement of their ordinary work on the next day or shift that they have not had at least 8 consecutive hours off duty, will be released after completion of such work until they have had 8 consecutive hours off duty without loss of pay for ordinary working time occurring during such absence. Alternatively, if the employee does not have 8 consecutive hours off duty, the employee will be paid at double the appropriate rate until they are released from duty for 8 consecutive hours and will be entitled to be absent until they have had 10 consecutive hours off duty without loss of pay.

Casual employees can only be rostered for sleepover when permanent employees are not available for duty, and under no circumstances can a casual be used exclusively (or almost exclusively) for sleepover shifts.

Saturday and Sunday work

Employees whose ordinary working hours include work on a Saturday and/or Sunday will be paid the following:

  • Ordinary hours worked between midnight on Friday and midnight on Saturday – time and a half
  • Ordinary hours worked between midnight on Saturday and midnight on Sunday – time and three quarters.

 

These extra rates will be in substitution for and not cumulative upon the shift premiums prescribed in the award.

A casual employee who works on a weekend will be paid at the following rates:

  • Hours worked between midnight Friday and midnight Saturday – 175% of the ordinary hourly rate; and
  • Hours worked between midnight Saturday and midnight Sunday – 200% of the ordinary hourly rate

These rates will be in substitution for and not cumulative upon the casual loading prescribed in the award.

Breaks

Meal breaks

Each employee who works in excess of five hours is entitled to an unpaid meal break. The meal break is between 30 minutes and 60 minutes in duration and taken at a mutually agreed time.

Where the employee is required by the employer to remain available to attend to duty or is on duty during their meal break, the employee will be paid at overtime rates for all time worked until the meal break is taken or the employee’s shift ends (whichever occurs first).  Whilst payment will be calculated at overtime rates, the time worked until the meal break is taken will be regarded and count as an employee’s ordinary time.

 

Tea breaks
Ordinary Shift Length Tea Break
Less than 7.6 hours 1 x 10 min paid tea break in each 4 hour period
7.6 hours or more 2 x separate 10 min paid tea breaks

Paid tea breaks are counted as time worked and are in addition to any Meal Break entitlements.

By mutual agreement, tea breaks may alternatively be taken as one 20 minute tea break.

Aged Care Award 2010 Summary

Overtime rates

Overtime is paid when employees work outside their ordinary hours

Full-time employees
FULL TIME Monday – Friday Saturday & Sunday Public Holiday
All work done in addition to their ordinary hours on any day Time and a half for the first 2 hours (plus any all-purpose allowance payable), double time thereafter Double time (plus any all-purpose allowance payable) Double time and a half (plus any all-purpose allowance payable)

Overtime rates are in substitution for, and not cumulative upon, the shift premiums contained in the Award.

 

Part-time employees

All time worked by part-time employees in excess of 38 hours per week (or 76 per fortnight), in excess of 10 hours per day, or in excess of their rostered hours in any one day (without prior agreement to vary these hours), will be paid overtime at the following rates:

PART TIME Monday – Friday Saturday Sunday Public Holiday
All time worked in excess of 38 hours per week or 76 per fortnight Time and a half for the first 2 hours (plus any all-purpose allowance payable), double time thereafter Double time (plus any all-purpose allowance payable) Double time (plus any all-purpose allowance payable) Double time and a half (plus any all-purpose allowance payable)
All time worked which exceeds 10 hours per day Time and a half for the first 2 hours (plus any all-purpose allowance payable), double time thereafter Time and a half for the first 2 hours (plus any all-purpose allowance payable), double time thereafter Double time (plus any all-purpose allowance payable) Double time and a half (plus any all-purpose allowance payable)
All time worked in excess of employee’s rostered hours on any day (unless an agreement has been entered into under Clause 10.3(c) of the Award) Time and a half for the first 2 hours (plus any all-purpose allowance payable), double time thereafter Double time (plus any all-purpose allowance payable) Double time (plus any all-purpose allowance payable) Double time and a half (plus any all-purpose allowance payable)

 

Casual employees

All time worked by casual employees in excess of 38 hours per week (or 76 per fortnight), or in excess of 10 hours per day, will be paid overtime at the following rates:

CASUAL Monday – Friday Saturday Sunday Public Holiday
All time worked in excess of 38 hours per week or 76 per fortnight 187.5% for the first 2 hours  (plus any all-purpose allowance payable), double time thereafter Double time and a half (plus any all-purpose allowance payable) Double time and a half (plus any all-purpose allowance payable) 312.5% (plus any all-purpose allowance payable)
All time worked in excess of 10 hours per day 187.5% for the first 2 hours  (plus any all-purpose allowance payable), double time thereafter 187.5% for the first 2 hours  (plus any all-purpose allowance payable), double time thereafter Double time and a half (plus any all-purpose allowance payable) 312.5% (plus any all-purpose allowance payable)

 

Rest period after overtime

Full time and part time employees who work excessive overtime resulting in less than 10 consecutive hours off before their next shift, will be released from duty until they have had 10 hours off work without loss of pay for rostered ordinary hours that occurred during this absence.

If the employee is required by the employer to resume work without having 10 consecutive hours off duty they will be paid at the rate of double time (plus any all-purpose allowance payable) until they are released from duty. The employee will then be entitled to be absent until they have had 10 consecutive hours off without loss of pay for rostered ordinary hours.

 

Recall to work overtime

An employee recalled to work overtime after leaving the employer’s premises will be paid for a minimum of four hours work at the appropriate rate for each time recalled. If the work required is completed in less than four hours, the employee will be released from duty.

 

Rest break during overtime

An employee recalled to work overtime after leaving the employer’s premises and who is required to work more than four hours will be allowed 20 minutes for a meal break and a further 20 minutes after each subsequent four hours’ overtime. The employer is required to provide a meal during this break, free of charge. If the employer is unable to provide a meal, the employee is entitled to a meal allowance (see allowances section below).

 

Time off instead of payment for overtime

Instead of paying employees for working overtime, the Award allows for employees and employers to agree to an employee taking time off instead of being paid for the overtime.

The Award has strict rules regarding this including:

  • Each period of time off in lieu must be subject to a separate written agreement
  • The period of time off that an employee is entitled to take is the same as the number of overtime hours worked
  • Time off must be taken within the period of 6 months after the overtime is worked, or else the accrued time off in lieu must be paid out to the employee (at overtime rates)
  • Employees may request to be paid out their accrued time off in lieu at any time (to be paid at overtime rates)
  • Accrued time off in lieu is paid out on termination of employment (at overtime rates)

Shift work

Employees working their ordinary hours in an “afternoon shift” or a “night shift” will be paid the following percentages in addition to the ordinary rate for such shift. 

However, employees who work less than 38 hours per week will only be entitled to the additional shift loadings  where their shift commences prior to 6:00am or finishes subsequent to 6:00pm.

Shift Shift Allowance
Afternoon shift commencing at 10:00am and before 1:00pm 10% of the ordinary hourly rate
Afternoon shift commencing at 1:00pm and before 4:00pm 12.5% of the ordinary hourly rate
Night shift commencing at 4:00pm and before 4:00am 15% of the ordinary hourly rate
Night shift commencing at 4:00am and before 6:00am 10% of the ordinary hourly rate

An employee entitled to a shift allowance will be paid the shift allowance for the entire shift.

Higher duties

An employee engaged to work in higher duties (ie performing duties of a classification level that is higher than their usual classification level) for a period of two hours or less must be paid the higher rate for time worked only. If an employee works higher duties for more than two hours they will need to be paid the higher rate of pay for the full day or shift.

Payment of wages

Employees must be paid either weekly or fortnightly by cash or electronic funds transfer into a bank account nominated by the employee. An employer will not be held liable for any unforeseen events which prevents the employer’s ability to pay on time, for example bank error or delay.

 

Payment of wages on termination

Where the employment of the employee is terminating and notice (by either the employee or employer) has been provided as per the minimums outlined under the National Employment Standards, payment of all wages and other monies owing to an employee will be made by no later than the last day of the formal notice period. In all other circumstances, the employer must pay all wages and other monies owed by no later than 7 days after the final date of employment.

 

Payment of superannuation

Under superannuation legislation, individual employees generally have the option to choose their own superannuation fund. If an employee does not choose a superannuation fund, superannuation is to be paid into any of the specific funds stated in the Award.

An employee may, in writing, authorise their employer to pay on behalf of them a specified amount from their post-taxation wages into the same superannuation fund.

An employee may adjust the amount that they have authorised their employer to pay from their wages from the first of the month following the giving of three months’ written notice to their employer.

The employer must pay the amount authorised no later than 28 days after the end of the month after the notice period has elapsed.

Allowances

Clause 15 of the Award sets out several allowances employees can be entitled to. The rates payable for each allowance frequently change and employers should check the Award for the current value.

Clothing and equipment

Employees required by the employer to wear uniforms will be supplied with an adequate number of uniforms appropriate to the occupation free of cost to employees. Such items are to remain the property of the employer and be laundered and maintained by such employer free of cost to the employee.

Instead of the provision of such uniforms, the employer may, by agreement with the employee, pay such employee a uniform allowance.

Where such employee’s uniforms are not laundered by or at the expense of the employer, the employee must be paid a laundry allowance.

The uniform allowance, but not the laundry allowance, will be paid during all absences on paid leave, except absences on long service leave and absence on personal/carer’s leave beyond 21 days. 

Where, prior to the taking of leave, an employee was paid a uniform allowance other than at the weekly rate, the rate to be paid during absence on leave will be the average of the allowance paid during the four weeks immediately preceding the taking of leave.

Where an employer requires an employee to wear rubber gloves, special clothing or where safety equipment is required for the work performed by an employee, the employer must reimburse the employee for the cost of purchasing such special clothing or safety equipment,except where such clothing or equipment is provided by the employer.

 

Leading hand allowance

A leading hand is an employee who is placed in charge of not less than two other employees of a substantially similar classification, but does not include any employee whose classification denotes supervisory responsibility.

A leading hand must be paid the weekly allowance set out in the Award, which is calculated by reference to how many employees they are in charge of.

The leading hand allowance is an “all purpose” allowance (ie is included in calculations of overtime, etc).

An employee who works less than 38 hours per week will be entitled to the allowance in the same proportion as the average hours worked each week bears to 38 ordinary hours.

 

Meal allowance

Employees must be provided with a meal or be paid a meal allowance any of the following circumstances:

(i) when required to work after the usual finishing hour of work beyond one hour or, in the case of shiftworkers, when the overtime work on any shift exceeds one hour.

(ii) provided that where such overtime work exceeds four hours a further meal allowance of must  be paid.

 

NAUSEOUS WORK ALLOWANCE

This allowance must be paid to an employee in any classification if they are engaged in handling linen of a nauseous nature and/or for work which is of “an unusually dirty or offensive nature having regard to the duty normally performed by such employee in such classification”.

 

Nauseous work allowance

A tool allowance must be paid to chefs and cooks who are not provided with all necessary tools by the employer.

 

Travelling, transport and fares

An employee required and authorised to use their own motor vehicle in the course of their duties must be paid per kilometre allowance.

When an employee is involved in travelling on duty, if the employer cannot provide the appropriate transport, all reasonably incurred expenses in respect to fares ,meals and accommodation must be met by the employer on production of receipted account(s) or other evidence acceptable to the employer. 

Leave and public holidays

Annual leave

Annual leave is provided for in the National Employment Standards.

Shiftworkers who are regularly rostered to work their ordinary hours outside the ordinary hours of work of a day worker and/or who work for more than four ordinary hours on 10 or more weekends in a year, are entitled to five weeks’ annual leave.

 

Annual leave loading

Employees must be paid an annual leave loading of 17.5% of their ordinary rate of pay when they take annual leave.

Shiftworkers must be paid their ordinary pay, plus the higher of: 

  • a 17.5% loading of their ordinary rate of pay; or
  • the weekend and shift penalties the employee would have received had they not been on leave during the relevant period

 

Annual leave in advance

An employee and employer may agree in writing for a period of annual leave to be taken in advance of it having been accrued by the employee. The agreement is subject to specific rules including:

  • It must state the amount of leave to be taken in advance, and the date on which the leave period is to commence
  • It must be signed by the employer and employee (or the employees parents or guardian if the are under 18 years of age)
  • A copy of this agreement must be kept b the employer

If, on the termination of the employee’s employment, the employee has not accrued an entitlement to all of a period of paid annual leave already taken in accordance with this agreement, the employer may deduct from any money due to the employee on termination, an amount that is equal to what was paid to the employee and has not yet been accrued by that employment end date.

 

Cashing out annual leave

An employee and employer may agree in writing to the cashing out of a particular amount of accrued paid annual leave.

The agreement must:

  • State the amount of leave to be cashed out and the payment to be made to the employee and the date on which the payment is to be made.
  • Be signed by the employer and the employee.
  • Not result in the employee’s remaining accrued entitlement to paid annual leave being less than four weeks.
  • Be kept as an employee record.

The maximum amount of accrued paid annual leave that may be cashed out in any period of 12 months is 2 weeks.

 

Excessive annual leave accruals

The Award permits employers to require employees with excessive annual leave accruals to take annual leave as directed. However this is subject to strict rules including:

  • an employer can only require an employee to take annual leave where that have accrued more than 8 weeks’ paid annual leave (or 10 weeks’ paid annual leave for a shiftworker)
  • an employer must have genuinely tried to reach agreement with an employee to take annual leave prior to a direction being given
  • the employee cannot be required to take leave where it would mean they would have less than 6 weeks annual leave left
  • the employer must not require the employee to take any period of paid annual leave of less than one week
  • the employer must not require the employee to take a period of paid annual leave beginning less than 8 weeks, or more than 12 months, after the direction is given.

 

Public holidays

Public holidays are provided for in the National Employment Standards.

Full-time day workers

In addition to their ordinary pay for work performed on a public holiday, a full-time employee can elect to receive one of the following:

  • Payment of an additional sum equal to 150% for hours worked; or
  • Have the same number of hours worked added to their annual leave.

This is subject to the following rules:

  • An employee must elect which of these two options will apply, when commencing employment, and then on their anniversary date each year.
  • This cannot be changed outside of this time, unless agreed upon by the employer.

Employees who do not work on a public holiday will be paid their ordinary pay for that day

These payments are instead of any additional rate for shift or weekend work which would otherwise be payable had the shift not been a public holiday

 

Part-time employees

Part-time employees will only be entitled to payment for those public holidays that fall on days they are normally rostered to work.

In addition to their ordinary pay for work performed on a public holiday, part-time employees can elect to receive one of the following:

  • Payment of an additional sum equal to 150% for hours worked; or
  • Have the same number of hours worked added to their annual leave.

The same rules regarding electing an applicable option for full-timers apply for part-time employees.

Employees who are rostered off on a public holiday they would ordinarily work will be paid their ordinary pay for that day.

These payments are instead of any additional rate for shift or weekend work which would otherwise be payable had the shift not been a public holiday

 

Casual employees

Casual employees will be paid only for those public holidays they work at 275% of the ordinary hourly rate for hours worked

This rate will be in substitution for and not cumulative upon the casual loading and the weekend rates prescribed in the Award.

 

Ceremonial leave

An employee who is legitimately required by Aboriginal tradition to be absent from work for Aboriginal ceremonial purposes will be entitled to up to 10 working days unpaid leave in any one year, with the approval of the employer.

 

Other leave

Personal/Carer’s Leave, Compassionate Leave, Community Service Leave and Unpaid family and domestic violence leave are provided for in the National Employment Standards.

Long Service leave (including for casual employees) is provided for in relevant state-based legislation.

 

Consultation and dispute resolution

The Award provides that employers must consult employees about major workplace change and changes to rosters or hours of work.

There are also provisions about resolving disputes concerning the Award, including the ability to apply to the Fair Work Commission.

Notice of termination

Employee’s period of continuous service with the employer at the end of the day the notice is given                 Period of notice
Not more than 1 year 1 week
More than 1 year but not more than 3 years 2 weeks
More than 3 years but not more than 5 years 3 weeks
More than 5 years 4 weeks

*An additional one weeks’ notice must be given where the employee has at least two years’ continuous service and is at least 45 years of age.

The notice of termination required to be given by an employee is the same, except that the employee does not have to give additional notice based on the age of the employee.

 

Employees who do not give sufficient notice

If an employee who is at least 18 years old does not give the period of notice required under the Award, then the employer may deduct from wages due to the employee under this award an amount that is no more than one week’s wages* for the employee.

If the employer has agreed to a shorter period of notice than that required, then no deduction can be made. Any deduction made must not be unreasonable.

*It is important to note that wages is taken to exclude any entitlements paid on termination, such as annual leave. An employer must not make any deduction for insufficient notice from the employees annual leave balance due for payment on termination.

 

Job search entitlement

Where an employer has given notice of termination to an employee, the employee must be allowed time off without loss of pay of up to one day for the purpose of seeking other employment. The time off is to be taken at times that are convenient to the employee after consultation with the employer.

 

Redundancy

Redundancy pay is provided for in the National Employment Standards.

The Award also contains provisions regarding:

  • transferring employees to lower paid duties when being made redundant
  • giving employees the rights to end their employment period early if being made redundant
  • having paid time off to look for a new job

Rates of pay

Rates of pay

As at 1 July 2023; please note the rates are the minimum ordinary rates of pay as outlined within the Award. Please see here. Please refer to the relevant Fair Work Ombudsman pay guide for other applicable rates such as overtime, penalty rates or allowances.

 

Adult General Employees – Full-Time and Part Time Rates

Classification Weekly pay rate Hourly pay rate
Aged care employee level 1 $861.40 $22.67
Aged care employee level 2 $895.50 $23.57
Aged care employee level 3 $929.90 $24.47
Aged care employee level 4 $940.90 $24.76
Aged care employee level 5 $972.80 $25.60
Aged care employee level 6 $1,025.20 $26.98
Aged care employee level 7 $1,043.60 $27.46

 

 

Adult General Employee – Casual Rates

Classification Hourly pay rate
Aged care employee level 1 $28.34
Aged care employee level 2 $29.46
Aged care employee level 3 $30.59
Aged care employee level 4 $30.95
Aged care employee level 5 $32.00
Aged care employee level 6 $33.73
Aged care employee level 7 $34.33

 

 

Adult Direct Care Employee – Full Time and Part Time

Classification

Weekly pay rate

Hourly pay rate

Aged care employee level 1

$1,047.60

$27.57

Aged care employee level 2

$1,089.00

$28.66

Aged care employee level 3

$1,130.90

$29.76

Aged care employee level 4

$1,144.20

$30.11

Aged care employee level 5

$1,183.00

$31.13

Aged care employee level 6

$1,246.80

$32.81

Aged care employee level 7

$1,269.10

$33.40

 

 

Adult Direct Care Employee – Casual

Classification

Hourly pay rate

Aged care employee level 1

$34.46

Aged care employee level 2

$35.83

Aged care employee level 3

$37.20

Aged care employee level 4

$37.64

Aged care employee level 5

$38.91

Aged care employee level 6

$41.01

Aged care employee level 7

$41.75

Aged Care Award 2010 Summary

FAQs

What is the Aged Care Award and who do they apply to?

The Aged Care Award is a set of regulations that govern the minimum terms and conditions of employment for workers in the aged care industry in Australia. It sets out the minimum rates of pay, leave entitlements, and other employment conditions for employees in the industry.

The Aged Care Award applies to employees who work in the aged care sector, including residential aged care facilities, home care providers, and community care organizations. This includes nurses, care workers, support staff, and administrative staff who work in these settings.

Employers in the aged care industry are required to comply with the Aged Care Award to ensure that their employees receive fair and reasonable working conditions. Failure to comply with the award can result in penalties and legal action.

The Aged Care Award is regularly reviewed and updated by the Fair Work Commission to ensure that it remains relevant and reflects the changing needs of the industry and its workers.

What is the minimum wage as determined by the Aged Care Award?

The minimum wage for employees in the aged care industry is determined by the Aged Care Award. As of the current wage schedule, which came into effect on July 1 2021, the minimum hourly wage for a full-time employee working in the industry is $21.92 per hour.

However, it is important to note that the minimum wage can vary depending on the employee’s classification level, as well as their experience and qualifications. For example, a registered nurse may be classified at a higher level and be entitled to a higher minimum wage than a personal care assistant.

Employers in the aged care industry are required to comply with the minimum wage requirements outlined in the Aged Care Award. This includes ensuring that employees are paid at least the minimum wage for their classification level and that all entitlements, such as penalty rates, are applied correctly.

What are the different classifications of employees under the Aged Care Award?

The Aged Care Award includes several different classifications of employees, each with their own set of minimum pay rates and entitlements. These classifications are based on the employee’s job duties and level of responsibility. The main classifications are:

  1. Personal Care Assistants: These employees provide basic care and support to residents or clients, such as assisting with personal hygiene, mobility, and daily living tasks.
  2. Enrolled Nurses: These employees have completed a formal nursing program and work under the supervision of a registered nurse. They provide a range of nursing and personal care services.
  3. Registered Nurses: These employees are qualified nurses who have completed a nursing degree and are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. They provide a range of nursing services, including medication administration, wound care, and clinical assessments.
  4. Allied Health Professionals: These employees are qualified health professionals, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and social workers, who provide specialized services to residents or clients.
  5. Management and Administrative Staff: These employees provide support and management services within the aged care organization, including administration, human resources, and financial management.

 

Each classification has different minimum pay rates and entitlements, such as different rates for overtime, weekend work, and public holidays. It is important for employers and employees to be aware of the correct classification and entitlements for their role to ensure compliance with the Aged Care Industry Award.

How many levels of employees are there in the Aged Care Award?

The Aged Care Award sets out five levels of classification for employees in the aged care industry in Australia. These classification levels are used to determine the minimum rates of pay and entitlements for employees based on their job duties and level of responsibility.

The five levels of classification under the Aged Care Award are:

  1. Level 1 – This classification covers employees who are new to the industry or who have limited experience and qualifications. It includes roles such as hospitality and cleaning staff.
  2. Level 2 – This classification covers employees who have some experience and qualifications in the aged care industry. It includes roles such as personal care assistants and home care workers.
  3. Level 3 – This classification covers employees who have a higher level of experience and qualifications in the aged care industry. It includes roles such as enrolled nurses and allied health professionals.
  4. Level 4 – This classification covers employees who have significant experience and qualifications in the aged care industry and who have supervisory responsibilities. It includes roles such as registered nurses and team leaders.
  5. Level 5 – This classification covers employees who have advanced qualifications and significant experience in the aged care industry and who have management responsibilities. It includes roles such as facility managers and executive directors.

 

Each level of classification has its own minimum rates of pay and entitlements, which are outlined in the Aged Care Award. It is important for employers and employees to be aware of the correct classification for their role to ensure compliance with the award.

When was the Aged Care Award last updated?

The Aged Care Award was last updated on 1 July 2021. The Fair Work Commission is responsible for regularly reviewing and updating awards such as the Aged Care Award to ensure that they remain relevant and reflect the changing needs of the industry and its workers. Employers and employees in the Aged Care industry should keep themselves informed about any changes made to the award to ensure compliance with its regulations. It is important to note that the Fair Work Commission may update the award at any time, so it is important to regularly check for any changes.

 

Are shift workers and casual employees covered by the Aged Care Award?

Yes, both shift workers and casual employees are covered by the Aged Care Award. The award sets out minimum rates of pay and entitlements for all employees in the aged care industry, regardless of their employment status or type of work they perform.

Shift workers are entitled to additional pay and entitlements to compensate for working outside of normal business hours. This includes penalty rates for working evenings, weekends, and public holidays, as well as additional rest breaks and shift allowances.

Casual employees are entitled to a higher rate of pay than permanent employees to compensate for not having access to benefits such as paid leave and job security. Casual employees are also entitled to certain minimum shift lengths and to be notified of their roster in advance.

 

How can employees and employers stay informed about changes to the Aged Care Award and ensure compliance with the latest regulations?

To stay informed about changes to the aged care industry award and ensure compliance with the latest regulations, both employees and employers in the aged care industry can take the following steps:

  1. Check the Fair Work Ombudsman website: The Fair Work Ombudsman website provides information and resources about awards and workplace laws, including the Aged Care Industry Award. The website is regularly updated with information about changes to awards, and employees and employers can sign up for email updates to stay informed about any changes.
  2. Consult with industry bodies: Industry bodies such as Leading Aged Services Australia (LASA) and Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) provide information and support for employers in the aged care industry. These bodies can provide guidance on compliance with the Aged Care Award and other workplace laws.
  3. Seek professional advice: Employees and employers can seek professional advice from legal and industrial relations experts who specialize in the aged care industry. These professionals can provide guidance on compliance with the award and other workplace laws, as well as assistance with disputes and legal matters.
  4. Regularly review employment contracts and agreements: Employers should regularly review their employment contracts and enterprise agreements to ensure that they are compliant with the latest regulations and changes to the award.

By staying informed and taking proactive steps to ensure compliance with the Aged Care Award and other workplace laws, both employees and employers can create a fair and safe working environment that benefits everyone in the industry.

 

How HR Connect can help

If you require assistance with dealing with disciplinary issues concerning staff, HR Connect can help. Our HR Advisors will be able to guide you through each step of the disciplinary process and we have template documents (e.g. direction to attend a disciplinary meeting, written warning, letter of termination, etc) available as part of our subscription packages.

 

About HR Connect

HR Connect is one of Australia’s leading providers of HR & workplace safety advice services, designed to help small business owners make confident and compliant business decisions.  

Disclaimer

The information provided in these knowledge base articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact HR Connect for advice. The information in this summary is correct as of August 2021.   This knowledge base article will change over time, as Modern Award legislation relating to this Industry or Occupation is passed by the Fair Work Commission. Originally published on 21 September 2021 and last updated on 18 February 2022.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Free up your time to focus on more important stuff

 

Know you’re meeting your obligations as a small business owner and make confident and compliant business decisions with HR and workplace safety advice, and legal support for small businesses.


4.9 Google Rating. Based on 191 reviews.

Exclusive National Approved HR Products for ICB Members
#1 HR Provider for Employment Hero customers

AHRI Organisational Member

Free up your time to focus on more important stuff

 

Know you’re meeting your obligations as a small business owner and make confident and compliant business decisions with HR and workplace safety advice, and legal support for small businesses.
All for $250 a month.

Exclusive National Approved HR Products for ICB Members

#1 HR Provider for Employment Hero customers
AHRI Organisational Member


4.9 Google Rating. Based on 191 reviews.