An aged care provider on the NSW Central Coast will dip into its own coffers to ensure all direct and non-direct care staff benefit from the government’s aged care retention bonus.
Two months after writing to the Minister for Aged Care about the unfairness of the Retention Bonus for Aged Care Workers, the Board of Peninsula Villages has unanimously agreed to pass on the retention bonus payment to all staff, rather than only those who fall under the niche specifications of the government’s grant.
“The Board is supportive of providing this bonus to acknowledge our great culture and that all staff provide key services and care to our residents, not just those defined by the hierarchy as ‘direct care workers’,” said Peninsula Villages Chief Executive Officer, Shane Neaves.
“The team at Peninsula Villages is dedicated to working in a positive environment where all staff are equal and deserving of this bonus.
“I am pleased and encouraged that all staff will be recognised for their terrific contribution to our residents,” he continued.
The Minister Richard Colbeck failed to respond to Peninsula Villages’ formal letter about the bonus, instead passing it on to an Assistant Secretary from the Department of Health.
Peninsula Villages was disappointed by the government’s definition of a ‘direct care worker’, given that it segregated the workforce into two factions.
Their definition “has the potential to further isolate and depreciate the value of those working in aged care, at a time where strength and support is dearly needed,” they say.
“The purpose of the letter, more than anything, was to get the Minister to admit that the Government had made a mistake with the way they chose to define the delivery of this grant, and to top it off our enquiry was passed off to someone who isn’t even in his department to deal with,” said Mr Neaves.
“In my eyes as a not-for-profit CEO working in an incredibly tough sector, it’s bad form and we’re very disappointed as an organisation that not everyone in our industry is being recognised for their efforts in what has been a really challenging year.
“That being said, I’m proud we can personally recognise the tireless efforts of all – while the government sees fit to set criteria for who deserves to be rewarded, Peninsula Villages believes all those working in the aged care sector are important,” Mr Neaves concluded.