New legislation will expose Aged Care providers who operate with unsafe staffing levels
24 July 2019
On Monday 22 June 2019, Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie on Monday, proposed a bill which aged care providers nationally to disclose their staffing levels. This follows an announcement by the Queensland government last week, that they would introduce new legislation requiring all Queensland residential aged care providers to publicly disclose their staffing ratios. It will also mandate minimum staffing ratios for state-owned centres.
Commenting on these new proposals, Katie Hepworth, Director of Workers’ Rights at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“The Royal Commission has heard many harrowing stories about the experiences of residents in aged care. As many witnesses have noted, many of the catastrophic failures of care stem from staff not being given enough time to care for residents, with numerous providers reducing costs by operating with low staffing levels and insufficiently qualified staff.
“ACCR welcomes the new legislation. While disclosure alone won’t address the significant issues in the sector that led to the calling of the Royal Commission, the required reporting of staffing levels will expose providers who try to reduce costs and increase profits by operating with unsafe staffing levels.
“With share prices in ASX-listed aged care companies Japara, Estia and Regis dropping significantly since the announcement of the Royal Commission, the new reporting requirements will give shareholders additional tools to assess the extent to which these providers are actively taking steps to address the issues raised.
“The potential risks to companies which fail to make these changes to protect and properly care for residents are huge, and include ongoing sanctions and reputational damage.”
For media comment contact:
Dr Katie Hepworth
+61 416 825 280