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Issue #1885      September 11, 2019

Aged care and disability workers get rise

The Health Services Union (HSU) is proud to announce another big union win for casual aged care and disability workers.

After a long campaign by HSU members and officials, the Fair Work Commission has ruled that all workers employed casually in aged care and social and community services (including disability) – are to be paid their 25 percent casual loading in addition to penalty rates for working on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.

For the average aged care worker, this equates to an hourly pay increase of $5.56, whilst the average disability worker will see an increase of $6.69 per hour.

The Commission made this ruling as part of the Four-Yearly Review of Modern Awards following a claim by the HSU that casual workers shouldn’t lose their 25 percent casual loading simply because they work or weekends and public holidays.

The increase will be applied to the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award (SCHADS) and the Aged Care Award and will also apply to workers covered by any enterprise agreement which falls below the Modern Award rate.

The full 25 percent increase will be phased in progressively, with 10 percent applying from 1 December 2019 and the remaining 15 percent applying from 1 July 2020.

“This is a fantastic win for tens of thousands of the lowest paid workers in the country who do invaluable work supporting some of the most vulnerable Australian citizens. It shows the power that ordinary working people have when they work together in their union.” Says HSU national secretary, Lloyd Williams.

“Australia has some of the highest rates of casual and insecure work in the OECD, so it’s only fair that these workers are properly compensated for the sacrifice they make working weekends and public holidays.

We welcome this decision from the Fair Work Commission and hope that our other claims to improve conditions for employees in home care, disability support and social and community services will be looked upon similarly favourably.”

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