United Voice, the aged care union, says the commitment by ACT Labor to extend portable long service leave to aged care workers is great news for the workers who care for aged Canberrans.
The industrial relations policy announced last week includes a commitment to extend the Community Sector Portable Long Service Leave Scheme to cover aged care workers.
Lyndal Ryan, ACT Branch Secretary of United Voice says: “Attracting and retaining workers is a continuing problem in the aged care sector.
“Low pay, difficult working conditions and poor entitlements have long acted as a disincentive to working in this critical service for our community.”
Ms Ryan believes portable long service leave will make a career in aged care significantly “more attractive” in a sector where workers are often employed by a number of different service providers.
“It has certainly had that effect with our members employed in childcare, cleaning and security industries.
“It is especially unfair for workers to lose their long service entitlement because they have a new employer following a change in ownership of the business which employs them.”
She adds pay rates in the sector have been low for a long time and that for many of the workers “long service leave is one of their major, if not only, savings”.
“They certainly don’t have large amounts in their superannuation funds. To lose their long service leave entitlement when changing employers has a disproportionately large impact on their financial situation.”
According to Ms Ryan, this policy announcement confirms the ACT as “Australia’s leader on long service leave”.