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Friday, December 8, 2023

Residential aged care COVID-19 employee vaccination support grant now available

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The Federal Department of Health is now receiving applications from approved providers of residential aged care to support the COVID-19 vaccination of all staff within a residential aged care facility.

The Government is supporting residential aged care workers to be vaccinated through an $11 million grant program to enable them to attend off-site vaccination centres and general practices.

The Government established the grants program in recognition of the new requirement for mandatory vaccinations of aged care workers, to ensure all residential aged care workers have at least one dose of a COVID-vaccine prior to mid-September 2021.

The Residential Aged Care Employee Support Grant program seeks to support the aged care sector in ensuring that all residential aged care workers are able to receive a COVID-19 vaccination whilst minimising the financial impact on the residential aged care provider and the individual employee.

The grant program will contribute towards costs incurred by eligible residential aged care providers supplying or facilitating COVID-19 vaccinations for staff.

Providers can apply for financial support in any or all of the following three categories:

  • Category 1: payment for each casual staff member’s off-site vaccination (maximum of 2 doses/payments per casual staff member). This payment is a contribution towards the time casual staff are absent from the facility to receive their COVID-19 vaccination at an off-site vaccination clinic; and/or
  • Category 2: one day of paid leave for casual staff (not eligible for entitlements) receiving an on or off-site vaccination, who were rostered on for a shift within 24 -48 hrs after receiving a vaccination, but suffered side effects from the vaccination and were unable to attend work for this reason; and/or
  • Category 3: facilitation of either on or off-site vaccinations for all staff (e.g. transport costs or arranging for groups of staff to be vaccinated off-site).

Providers must ensure payments received under categories one and two are provided to casual staff members in full.

Eligible staff members include:

  • Categories 1, 2 and 3: casual staff for whom the residential aged care facility is their primary place of work in the aged care sector and have been rostered on in the preceding four weeks, unless they were on annual or sick leave.
  • Category 3: all staff directly employed by the Provider.

Providers are able to apply for multiple residential aged care facilities in one online application form.

The online application form will require Providers to indicate, for each residential aged care facility, which categories they require support from and the number of staff and facilities.

Providers may claim costs incurred under the categories 1 and 2 between March 1 and October 29, 2021.

The grant round is open until 2pm AEST, Friday October 29, 2021.

The Grant Guidelines and application form are available here.

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