Wesley Mission’s recent announcement that it would cease providing aged care services due to the inability to comply with new federal government laws has highlighted the pressing issue of labour shortages within the industry. The new rules will require aged care providers to make care available to clients 24-hour day, seven days a week, with a minimum of 200 minutes of individual care each week for each client.
Labour shortages within the industry have been well documented. On some projections it is estimated that as many as 25,000 persons are needed to fill projected vacancies. Registered nurses, enrolled nurses and personal care assistants are among the most in demand occupations.
One solution to address this issue is for providers to fill vacancies with overseas skilled workers. This can be facilitated by way of a Labour Agreement care providers can enter into with the Department of Home Affairs.
Labour agreements typically allow businesses to sponsor skilled workers from overseas to work in Australia for up to 4 years. While the Department recognises that there are significant labour shortages within the industry, providers who wish to have the benefit of a labour agreement must make a case justifying why they believe an agreement would be appropriate for their particular situation.
Nevett Ford has substantial experience in the preparation and negotiation of labour agreements and would be happy to assist providers who wish to pursue this option.