Media Release

31 October 2019

Aged care Royal Commission needs industrial relations case studies

Case studies have been brilliantly employed by the aged care Royal Commission to expose the devastating realities of deficient care practices. For the crucial workforce issues, the same strategy could be beneficially used to reveal current employment practices. To date witness evidence on industrial relations remains in the soft realm of generalisations and a macro focus. There have been few new insights or practical reform proposals.

Industrial relations case studies could examine wages policy, executive remuneration schemes, staffing formulae used by managers including care hours per resident, skill ratios and qualifications, the division between wages and profits, attitude to unions, the percentage of government subsidy directed to wages, recruitment policy, in-service training, and the nature of enterprise bargaining negotiations. All this at individual employer level. If there are exemplars it would be good to know.

This Commission is distinguished from the 18 previous aged care inquiries since 1997 most particularly for its microscopic examination of care practices. Micro pictures of aged care industrial relations practice to match the incisive, ground-breaking pictures of care practices would be invaluable.

Contact Carol Williams 0407 515 636