On 22 September 2023 the AICD provided a submission to the Department of Health and Aged Care's consultation on the foundations of new legislation to replace the Aged Care Act 1997.
The AICD's submission was limited to new proposed duties of care at an organisational, responsible person and individual worker levels. The key points in our submission were:
- In-principle support for a new statutory duty associated with the provision of care being imposed on registered providers. We recognised that this proposed duty was a recommendation of the Aged Care Royal Commission. However, we encouraged the Department to assess the degree to which existing workplace health and safety (WHS) legislation already imposes obligations on providers and responsible persons to provide safe and healthy workplace settings, for both employees and residents.
- We did not support the new proposed duty on responsible persons (i.e. directors) of aged care providers. A duty on responsible persons was not recommended by the Royal Commission and the recent governance focused reforms to the Aged Care Act are already designed to drive enhanced accountability at the governing body level. A new duty would be an unnecessary new layer of personal liability that would add to regulatory complexity with very limited benefit and will deter well-qualified individuals from serving on the boards of aged care providers, including those with clinical experience.
- We did not support support a new duty on aged care workers. We considered that the imposition of such a duty is unnecessary and punitive impost on relatively low paid frontline workers and will have a very detrimental impact on the recruitment and retention of staff at a time when staffing challenges are acute.
Already a member?
Login to view this content