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Aged Care Workforce Bonus Payment Explained

22/03/22
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On 1 February 2022, the Commonwealth Government announced that an aged care workforce bonus of up to $800 will be paid to eligible aged care workers in Government-subsidised home care and residential care. Here’s what you need to know about the bonus payment.

What Is the Aged Care Workforce Bonus Payment?

The bonus payment is a payment of up to $800 that will be paid in two instalments to care and support workers in Government-subsidised home care packages and to direct care workers, food service workers and cleaners in Government-subsidised residential care.

 

Am I Eligible for the Aged Care Workforce Bonus Payment?

You are eligible to apply for the bonus payment if you are:

  • an Australian Government funded:
    • approved residential aged care or home care package provider
    • state/local government approved residential aged care or home care package provider
    • multipurpose service provider
    • provider delivering aged care services under the Commonwealth National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program.
  • an agency or broker employing eligible staff who are contracted to provide services for the above organisations
  • self-employed persons providing services for the above organisations.

 

The providers and agencies outlined above will be eligible to receive the bonus payment for the following workers:

  • residential aged care workers, including clinical and personal care workers, allied health workers, food services and cleaning services.
  • home care workers delivering home care under an approved home care package, including clinical support, personal care (showering, dressing etc.), cleaning and support with household tasks, meal preparation, social support, shopping services, community access, transport, allied health and respite services.

 

Eligible full-time and part-time aged care workers that are on paid leave are eligible for a bonus payment.

A worker who has ceased employment is also still entitled to receive a bonus payment if their entitlement to a payment has been included as part of an application.

 

Who Is Not Eligible for the Bonus Payment?

The following workers are not eligible for the bonus payment:

  • full-time and part-time eligible aged care workers that take unpaid leave for the entire assessment period, unless they are on leave due to a COVID-19-related absence (for example, they need to isolate due to a health order)
  • workers that do not provide direct care, food or cleaning services in residential care
  • workers that do not provide care and support services in home care packages
  • workers employed by aged care services that are not Government-approved and subsidised
  • administration workers
  • gardeners.

 

Additionally, the following Commonwealth programs are excluded from applying for the bonus payment:

  • Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) Services
  • NDIS services
  • Short term restorative care
  • Transition care
  • Veterans Home Care Services.

 

How Much Is the Bonus Payment?

Aged care workers eligible for the bonus payment can receive up to $800 over two instalments.

The exact amount that an eligible worker will receive depends on the dates that worker is employed, the hours that they have worked and the type of aged care being provided.

Workers employed on 28 February 2022 are eligible to receive the first bonus payment of up to $400.

Workers employed on 28 April 2022 are eligible to receive the second bonus payment of up to $400.

If a worker commences employment after the 28 February 2022 census date, they will not be eligible for that payment but may still be eligible for the second payment. If a worker commences employment after the 28 April 2022 census date, they will not be eligible for either payment.

For a worker employed on the 28 February 2022, the first instalment is calculated on the highest number of hours that they worked in a single week out of the four weeks leading up to the first census date (i.e. in the four weeks from 1 February to 28 February).

For a worker employed on the 28 April 2022, the second instalment is at least equal to the first instalment, or if it results in a higher payment (or there was no first instalment), is calculated on the highest number of hours that they worked in single a week out of the four weeks prior to the second census date (i.e. in the four weeks from 1 April to 28 April).

If a worker was on paid leave, or unpaid leave due to a COVID-19-related absence, the amount of the bonus payment that these workers receive is calculated on the hours that they would have normally worked in the relevant period.

The payment rates for both residential and home care workers are set out in the table below.

 

Most hours worked in a single week of the four weeks prior to the census date/s.

Residential Care Workers

Home Care Package Workers

Over 30 hours

$800

$600

Over 15 hours and up to 30 hours

$640

$480

Between three and up to 15 hours

$400

$300

 

For example, if you are a worker employed at a residential aged care facility on 28 February 2022 and have worked 31 hours from 1 February to 7 February, you are entitled to the full payment of $800. This is the case even if you worked less than 30 hours a week in the other weeks leading up to the first census date, or if you work less than 30 hours a week in the four weeks leading up to the second census date. This payment would be paid to you over two equal instalments of $400.

 

What Is the Deadline for Applying for the Bonus Payment?

Applications for the bonus payment opened on 1 March 2022 and will close at 2pm on 15 April 2022.

 

How Can I Apply for the Bonus Payment?

An individual aged care worker, other than a self-employed person, cannot apply for the payment themselves.

However, eligible providers, agencies and brokers of eligible employees can apply on behalf of their workers by completing the on-line application form located on the GrantConnect website.

As part of their application, employers will need to attach a completed staffing profile spreadsheet. The staffing profile spreadsheet details the eligible workers who were working for the employers on the relevant census dates and the weekly hours that they worked in the previous four weeks. The spreadsheet will soon be available on the website.

Applications for bonus payments will be audited at a later date to ensure that workers receive their entitled payments. Therefore, employers should maintain evidence of the records that they have relied on to make an application. They should also maintain evidence that they have forwarded received payments to eligible workers.

 

When Do I Receive the Bonus Payment?

Once the Department of Health has assessed and approved an application, funds will be distributed to the employer who will then make the payment to eligible employees.

When aged care workers receive their first payment will depend on when employers submit their application.

Importantly, employers must pay workers within two pay cycles from when they receive the funds. However, employers are encouraged to make the bonus payment/s as soon they lodge their application.

After receiving the first payment, a second payment will automatically be made to employers in May 2022.

Employers can lodge a variation for any additional funds that they may need to pay employees. If the bonus that they pay employees is less than the payment that they receive, they may also retain the surplus funds to spend on COVID-19-related expenses.

 

Are the Payments Taxable?

The bonus payment is considered income and therefore subject to income tax in the hands of workers, just like other COVID-19 measures such as the JobKeeper Payment.

Employers should contact their relevant state/territory revenue office to determine if they also need to pay payroll tax for the bonus payment.

Employers are not required to pay compulsory superannuation on the payments.

 

Where Can I Get More Information Bonus Payment?

For more information and general enquiries about the bonus payment, contact the Department of Health by:

Enquiries from aged care workers can be emailed to ACWBP.enquiries@health.gov.au.

If you are an aged care worker who has a concern about your payment (for example, you have not received it), you should also consider speaking with your employer first to resolve any issues quickly.

 

Further Resources

 

 

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About the Author

Filip Manganaro

Filip Manganaro is a Legal Research Associate at CompliSpace. He recently completed his law degree at the University of New South Wales.

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