The myHomecare Group was featured in the Guardian’s article ‘Absolutely a crisis’: almost a quarter of Australia’s aged care shifts go unfilled each week.’
The CEO of the myHomecare Group touches on the retention bonus and on how more needs to be done within.
For a summary of the article please read on.
Stretched Aged Care and Disability Workforce.
Due to Covid-19, almost a quarter of Australias’s aged care shifts go unfilled, and roster vacancies in the disability sector have reached up to 30%.
There have been widespread calls for the government to do more for both workforces.
The disability and aged care sector are struggling with shortages and the National Disability Services Chief Executive, Laura Leigh mentions that a large proportion of shifts could not be filled in the first two weeks of January.
She believes that any incentives introduced by the government ‘did not scratch the service’.
In an attempt to address the staff shortages, the government offered two $400 retention payments.
Despite working in similar conditions to those in aged care, disability carers are not eligible to receive government benefits.
A large home care provider, which serves both, estimates that up to 40% of its staff will not receive it.
Stuart Miller from the myHomecare Group, which represents 10 providers in the home care industry, said that while he welcomed the retention bonus, it did not do anything to address structural issues in the sector.
“It doesn’t fix things structurally,” Miller told Guardian Australia.
In his opinion, up to 40% of his staff may not get the payment, with many carers working with clients whose services aren’t covered by the eligible programs.
“As the largest provider, I’ve got people who work for disability and they’re not entitled to it because it’s not federally funded,” he said.
“There are people in the office who are Care Managers, who aren’t necessarily giving direct contact care, but are talking to our clients and managing their care, but those people aren’t necessarily going to be eligible either.”
He said providers were burdened with additional paperwork to administer the scheme.
“I want to make sure our staff gets everything they’re entitled to in relation to this.”
Aged care providers have also expressed concern about disability payments. They claim that many workers will not be eligible for the retention bonus program.
In a situation report, the government had provided some support with a “surge” of about 1,000 shifts per week.
What to expect going forward.
However, the scale was inadequate to meet demand, and it seems unlikely to be resolved soon.
Unfortunately, there are no signs of a surge in the workforce that could solve the current crisis.
We ask families and clients for their support during this difficult time.
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