2023 Federal Budget: Building a Workforce with a Wage Rise

4 Minute Read

To cure our nation's aged care workforce issues, the Australian Government is funding a 15% wage increase for workers.

2023 Federal Budget: Building a Workforce with a Wage Rise
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions

The 2023 Federal Budget delivered some good news for older Australians.

The highlights

The Australian Government will:

  • Fund the coming 15% wage rise (1 July 2023) for registered nurses, enrolled nurses, assistants in nursing, personal care workers, head chefs and cooks, recreational activities officers (lifestyle workers) and home care workers. The investment is $11.3 billion over four years commencing 1 July 2023.

    While absolutely necessary to attract more workers to the sector, our concern was that older Australians receiving care would be paying for this through increased aged care provider fees. So this is a much welcomed announcement!

  • Release an additional 9,500 Home Care packages in the next financial year (2023–24) to allow older people to live independently at home for longer. By June 2024, this will bring the total number of issued Home Care packages to 285,100 Home Care Packages.

    With most Australians wishing to age in place, this release should help reduce the current Home Care package waiting time of more than 12 months[1].

    I still encourage clients to be proactive and obtain an ACAT assessment[2] to take their place in the queue.

  • Provide more aged care support, and culturally appropriate care, to our First Nations elders living in remote areas.

    If you are an aged care worker interested in supporting our First Nations elders, some tremendous support is being made available in terms of training in culturally safe and trauma-aware healing-informed care[3].


Workforce and pay

15% wage increase for aged care workers was determined by the Fair Work Commission back on 3 March 2023[4]. While any increase is welcomed, the Health Services Union request to the Commission back in November 2020 was for a 25% wage increase, not 15%.

In the meantime, the ACTU is currently campaigning for a 7% increase in the minimum wage for 1 July 2023.

So back to my comparisons provided in a previous blog[5]:

Retail – minimum award wage:

For an entry level retail employee, it is currently $23.38/hour (no qualifications required). With the 7% increase sought by the ACTU this will rise to around $25.02/hour.

Aged care worker – minimum award wage:

With the 15% increase from 1 July 2023 wages will rise to around:

$26.07/hr (level one worker); $27.11 /hr (level two); $28.14/hr (level three); with qualifications required.

The question: Is 15% enough?

Working in aged care, compared to retail, takes its toll on staff both physically and emotionally. The question is: Will a wage rise of 15% on 1 July 2023 be enough to attract the more than 8,000 aged care workers required now?



Need help caring for a loved one? Please feel free to call me, Danielle Robertson, at any time for an initial discussion on how to set up the right care, support and assistance at the right time and in the right place.
- Contact Danielle - For An Impartial & Confidential Conversation



[1] My Aged Care: What Is The Wait Time For Services?
[2] My Aged Care: Prepare For Your Assessment
[3] Australian Department of Health and Aged Care: Ensuring Equitable Access
[4] Australian FairWork Commission Decision
[5] DR Care Solutions: Aged Care Workers - Attracting Workers To Enable Aged Care Reforms



Danielle Robertson

Danielle Robertson

Working with you and your support network to get the right care outcomes for you and your loved ones. Danielle Robertson is founder and CEO of DR Care Solutions, offering aged care and disability care concierge services and expertise on how to set up the right care, support and assistance for your loved one, at the right time and in the right place. Danielle's experience in the Australian care sector spans over three and a half decades. Now that's a lot of experience, wisdom and networks!