The law of unintended consequences has hit the Rest home industry thanks to Pay equity

When the government recently decided to force pay equity on to Rest Homes making them significantly increase the wages of their caregivers, a domino effect was created and the consequences for both Rest Homes and other industries are significant. The first problem was that by raising the hourly rate significantly it put the caregivers almost on a par with Rest Home nurses’ hourly rate. If you pay your caregivers only a couple of dollars less than registered nurses it causes serious problems. Nurses expect to be paid a lot more than caregivers so Rest Homes to retain nursing staff will be forced to significantly increase their hourly rate as well.

Once you meddle in an industry and artificially inflate wages in one area it will put pressure on other sectors. The Mental health sector is now worried that it will lose its more skilled workers to Rest Homes.

From July, aged care and disability staff will receive a pay rise of between 15 and 49 percent, depending on their qualifications and experience, due to a government decision to give them pay equity.

National network of mental health and addiction organisations Platform Trust said that rise would put those worker’s wages above those in the mental health and addiction sector.

It said its workers were already looking for excuses to leave.

Over the past 10 years the demand for secondary mental health and addiction services has increased from around 96,000 people to almost 168,000 people.

…The trust’s chief executive, Marion Blake, said stressed-out staff were already leaving, and the higher wages – soon to be offered at rest homes – could be the final straw.

Platform Trust said it would seek an urgent meeting with the government to see if pay equity could be extended to its sector.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said he would consider meeting with the organisation, but said the rest home workers’ settlement addressed historic issues of systemic gender discrimination.

That is politically correct government speak which translated means that Rest Home caregivers are mainly women whereas Mental health workers are mainly men. Therefore it is more important to give them pay equity than a male dominated industry.

He said the parties involved agreed that it would not be used as a precedent for other occupational groups.

Dr Coleman said the Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill, still in draft form, would establish a process for groups to raise and resolve pay equity claims through bargaining.

The problem here is that the National government by making an exception for the Rest Home industry have let the Genie out of the bottle and have caused dissatisfaction that will have ongoing effects. Pay equity is a socialist meddling move and one that shows how left-wing National have become.


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