Aged Care Retention Payment Needs Expansion
11/07/2021 Nick Dametto, Member for Hinchinbrook has written to Health and Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt to request the Aged Care Retention Payment be extended to all aged care workers.
“I was shocked to hear that the Aged Care Extension Payment was only applicable to registered nurses, allied health workers and those that work directly with residents.
“Like most people, I assumed everyone who worked in aged care was eligible for this payment.
“The Minister needs to know the shortages of aged care workers, are not limited to degree qualified staff, it is across the board – in the kitchens, maintenance, cleaning and laundry areas.
“COVID-19 has given us a new appreciation of frontline staff, and all workers in aged care are frontline staff and essential workers. Therefore, they should be eligible for the Aged Care Retention Payment,” said Mr Dametto.
Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter said people may not notice the cleaner in the corridor, or the cook in the kitchen, but they play a vital role in the running of aged care facilities and should be duly rewarded.
“We owe much of our standard of living to our cleaners, laundry staff, maintenance workers and cooks,” Mr Katter said.
“When I go to a restaurant or a café I always thank the cooks, and as the Puritans said cleanliness is next to godliness.”
“We walk down pristine clean corridors and immaculately clean rooms in aged care homes, and we forget that the people most responsible for hygiene and the destruction of germs are our cleaners.
“So the people who are most responsible for our cleanliness, keeping the lights on, washing our linen and our sustenance should be rewarded with this retention payment. We are also extremely thankful for our nurses and allied health staff who have done a great job over the last two years during the pandemic.”
The Aged Care Retention Payment was a series of three payments of up to $800 value paid in 2020 in a Federal Government initiative.
“This retention payment has caused division in the workplace and should be open to anyone who works in the aged care home,” said Mr Dametto