Home support workers feeling the pressure of increasing workloads

The Public Service Association welcomes the publication of the 2016 Aged Care Workforce Survey, which provides practical insight into the challenges facing home support workers.

"Our incredible members in the aged care sector have always dealt with serious stress and pressure in a challenging industry that demands a lot from workers, often for low wages," says PSA assistant secretary Kerry Davies.

"Increasing workloads mean a need for increased staffing levels, and the survey results suggest that this isn’t happening quickly enough."

"We need a reliable workload management mechanism to ensure the fair and safe allocation of clients to home support workers at a reasonable staffing level."

The report also highlights the serious need for investment in workplace training, with almost half of the respondents saying that they had not undertaken any paid training during the past 12 months. The report demonstrates the need for greater support to overcome the difficulties of accessing training where home support workers are working in the community with limited ability to attend training. This has significant repercussions for the health and safety of home support workers and the people they support.

"There are some indications that the next iteration of this report will be more positive - settlements for guaranteed hours, In-Between Travel costs and equal pay will hopefully redress some of the concerns about slow wage growth," says Ms Davies.