Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19

Support for Aged Care Workers

What is the Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19?

The Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 is a grant opportunity is designed to minimise the risk of infection to aged care workers, residents and other consumers of aged care services and provide funding for out-of-pocket costs incurred as a result of COVID-19.

 

Background

The COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program will run over two years from 2019-20 to 2020-21. The Program was announced as part of the Australian Government’s
Aged Care COVID-19 preparedness measure.

The Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 is the second grant opportunity to be established under the Program. It is designed to minimise the risk of an infection occurring in the aged care sector.

Examples of eligible workforce costs under the Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 are those that will support eligible workers:

  • who normally work at multiple residential aged care facilities, but will be working solely at the facility being applied for;
  • who are not to attend work because they have been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive, require testing or are subject to self-isolation or quarantine requirements; or
  • to undertake training in the event a skills gap arises from where existing workers are not to work due to experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or are subject to self-isolation or quarantine requirements.

 

Objectives

The purpose of the Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 grant opportunity is to minimise the risk of infection to aged care workers, residents and other consumers of aged care services. It aims to:

  • assist approved Residential Aged Care providers, approved National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program (NATSIFACP) providers and approved Home Care providers to manage the impact of COVID-19 on their workforce to ensure consumers of aged care services continue to experience safe quality care;
  • minimise the financial burden for approved Residential Aged Care providers, approved NATSIFACP providers and approved Home Care providers by:
    • engaging and training additional workers where existing workers are not to attend work due to self-isolation or quarantine restrictions or other COVID-19 health
      related measures (including workers being unavailable due to having elected to work at another, different service), and
    • who are not to attend work because they have been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive, require testing or are subject to self-isolation or quarantine requirements
  • to minimise the financial burden for approved Residential Aged Care and approved NATSIFACP aged care providers as a result of supporting residential and NATSIFACP workers to work at a single site.
    • An underlying principle is that the worker is not to be disadvantaged as a result of working at a single site

 

Funding

The Australian Government announced support of $101.2 million under the Aged Care Preparedness Measure. This funding will be drawn on for this grant opportunity. 

Providers will be able to apply for the amount of funding necessary within the scope of the eligibility criteria. However, the Department will use the following thresholds when considering applications to determine if additional information is required from the grantee to support the application.

 

Eligible Projects

Eligible activities are activities associated with managing workforce impacts of COVID-19 including the following:

  • For approved Residential Aged Care providers and approved NATSIFACP providers only:
    • paying additional wages and entitlements to enable workers to work at a single site and to ensure a provider has sufficient workforce.
  • For approved Residential Aged Care providers and approved NATSIFACP providers and approved Home Care providers:
    • paying wages for workers who do not have access to or sufficient pandemic or personal leave entitlements and who are not to attend work due to symptoms,
      being diagnosed as COVID-19 positive, testing, quarantine or self-isolation,
    • undertaking and paying the cost of training additional workers who may be needed if existing workers are not to attend work due to isolation, quarantine,
      COVID-19 positive requirements, and
    • implementing other eligible workforce measures that may arise due to new requirements or directions from the Australian Government or State/Territory
      governments. Grant Opportunity Guidelines will be updated to describe ‘other workforce costs’ as they arise.

Funding will not be provided for additional workers in the event that a worker is not to attend work due to self-isolation or quarantine, unless there are additional costs. It is expected that funding for additional workers will not be required as the provider will have available budget which would have been otherwise used to pay the worker who cannot work.

 

Eligible Applicants

To be eligible, you must be:

  • an approved Residential Aged Care provider, an approved NATSIFACP provider or an approved Home Care provider
  • incurring additional costs as a result of supporting eligible workers
  • located inside a hotspot and/or have workers that work in a hotspot.

 

Timing

Applications close 31 December 2021.

 

More Information

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