More working hours for students in aged care sector

By Tom Ravlic

Wednesday September 1, 2021

The federal government will extend permission for student visa holders working in the aged care sector to put in more hours.
The federal government will extend permission for student visa holders working in the aged care sector to put in more hours. (Have a nice day/Adobe)

The federal government is hoping to alleviate the skill shortage in aged care by extending its permission for student visa holders working in the sector to put in more hours.

Student visa holders are typically restricted to working no more than 40 hours a fortnight, but the government had relaxed those requirements for those students that started working for their employers before September 8, 2020.

Students who began working in the aged care sector after that date will now be able to work more than 40 hours a fortnight, giving the operators of aged care facilities greater staffing capacity to offer care for residents.

Aged care service providers that have a RACS ID or NAPS ID are able to take advantage of the relaxation of working hours for student visa holders irrespective of whether they are approved or Commonwealth funded aged care service providers.

Health minister Greg Hunt said the government understood that employees in the aged care sector were working under great pressure. Providing a greater number of student visa holders with the ability to work more hours will ease the stress, he said.

“Many aged care workers, nurses and other staff have been working at a higher intensity during the pandemic. All Australians are thankful for their efforts, and the Australian Government is working to ease that pressure,” Hunt said.

“The government is ensuring student visa holders working in aged care can take on additional hours, and this provides an important extra workforce.”

Immigration minister Alex Hawke said the change to student visa conditions provides certainty to visa holders about their ability to take on more hours of work in the sector

“We want student visa holders to have the flexibility to take on extra work with aged care providers, which will increase the capacity of their employers and colleagues to respond to the pandemic,” Hawke said.


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