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senate vote 2020-06-11#9

Edited by mackay

on 2020-06-12 11:25:13

Title

  • Motions Covid-19: Aged-Care Workers
  • Motions - Covid-19: Aged-Care Workers - Retention bonus exclusions

Description

  • <p class="speaker">Anne Urquhart</p>
  • <p>On behalf of Senator Keneally and Senator Sheldon I move:</p>
  • <p class="italic">That the Senate&#8212;</p>
  • The majority voted against paragraphs (a) to (c) of a [motion](https://www.openaustralia.org.au/senate/?id=2020-06-11.210.1) introduced by Tasmanian Senator [Anne Urquhart](https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/senate/tasmania/anne_urquhart) (Labor), which means those parts did not pass.
  • ### Motion text
  • > *That the Senate—*
  • >
  • > *(a) notes that:*
  • >
  • >> *(i) the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on older Australians, their families, their carers and the aged care workforce,*
  • >>
  • >> *(ii) valuable contributions have been made by the more than 360,000 aged care workers who have continued to deliver care and support to older Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic,*
  • >>
  • >> *(iii) all aged care workers play a valuable role to deliver care and support to older Australians in residential and home care,*
  • >>
  • >> *(iv) many aged care workers are low paid and around 87 per cent of them are women,*
  • >>
  • >> *(v) the Morrison Government has made a decision to exclude a large proportion of aged care workers from receiving the retention bonus,*
  • >>
  • >> *(vi) excluded aged care workers who will not receive the retention bonus include those delivering services under the Commonwealth Home Support Program as well as in-direct care workers in residential aged care facilities including lifestyle and leisure therapists, cleaners, hospitality workers and gardeners,*
  • >>
  • >> *(vii) the exclusion of any aged care worker from receiving the retention bonus is unwarranted and unfair,*
  • >>
  • >> *(viii) on 20 March, 2020 the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians issued a media release that stated that the retention bonus payment would be 'after tax', and*
  • >>
  • >> *(ix) on 5 June, 2020 the Department of Health retention bonus guidelines stated, the payment would be 'subject to income tax'; and*
  • >
  • > *(b) conveys its disappointment that the Morrison Government made:*
  • >
  • >> *(i) a decision to exclude about 40% of aged care workers from receiving the retention bonus, and*
  • >>
  • >> *(ii) a late decision to switch the retention bonus from being after tax to being before tax that will see aged care workers lose hundreds of dollars they were previously promised;*
  • >
  • > *(c) calls on the Morrison Government, as a matter of urgency, to reconsider its decision and pay the retention bonus to all aged care workers irrespective of their role or where they work and to explain why it changed the rules around the payment being after tax to the payment now being subject to income tax; and*
  • >
  • > *[...]*
  • <p class="italic">(a) notes that:</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(i) the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on older Australians, their families, their carers and the aged care workforce,</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(ii) valuable contributions have been made by the more than 360,000 aged care workers who have continued to deliver care and support to older Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic,</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(iii) all aged care workers play a valuable role to deliver care and support to older Australians in residential and home care,</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(iv) many aged care workers are low paid and around 87 per cent of them are women,</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(v) the Morrison Government has made a decision to exclude a large proportion of aged care workers from receiving the retention bonus,</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(vi) excluded aged care workers who will not receive the retention bonus include those delivering services under the Commonwealth Home Support Program as well as in-direct care workers in residential aged care facilities including lifestyle and leisure therapists, cleaners, hospitality workers and gardeners,</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(vii) the exclusion of any aged care worker from receiving the retention bonus is unwarranted and unfair,</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(viii) on 20 March, 2020 the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians issued a media release that stated that the retention bonus payment would be 'after tax', and</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(ix) on 5 June, 2020 the Department of Health retention bonus guidelines stated, the payment would be 'subject to income tax'; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(b) conveys its disappointment that the Morrison Government made:</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(i) a decision to exclude about 40% of aged care workers from receiving the retention bonus, and</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(ii) a late decision to switch the retention bonus from being after tax to being before tax that will see aged care workers lose hundreds of dollars they were previously promised;</p>
  • <p class="italic">(c) calls on the Morrison Government, as a matter of urgency, to reconsider its decision and pay the retention bonus to all aged care workers irrespective of their role or where they work and to explain why it changed the rules around the payment being after tax to the payment now being subject to income tax; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(d) acknowledges the work all aged care workers undertake each and every day, and thanks them for their continued dedication to care and support older Australians in residential and home care.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Jonathon Duniam</p>
  • <p>I seek leave to make a short statement.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Scott Ryan</p>
  • <p>Leave is granted for one minute.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Jonathon Duniam</p>
  • <p>The Australian government has provided more than $850 million of measures to support senior Australians in aged care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes $234.9 million for a COVID-19 aged-care worker retention bonus to ensure the continuity direct care workers in residential and home care. This payment is specifically to encourage direct care workers providing clinical care and personal care to remain in their employment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Extra income of up to $1,600 will be paid to eligible residential direct care workers and up to $1,200 to eligible direct home care workers who are eligible and work through both cycles of payments. The government never stated that the payments would be tax-free payments, because that is not how income bonuses work.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Malcolm Roberts</p>
  • <p>I request that the motion be split into (a), (b) and (c) separate from (d).</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Scott Ryan</p>
  • <p>The question is that clauses (a) through to (c) of motion 617 be agreed to.</p>
  • <p>The question is that clause (d) of motion 617 be agreed to.</p>
  • <p>Question agreed to.</p>