International students to fill critical staff shortages in aged care

Aged care providers will temporarily be able to offer more hours to international students to care for senior and vulnerable Australians to combat the impact of coronavirus.


Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said international students would help fill critical staff shortages emerging in the sector.


“As more workers take leave to quarantine or because of health concerns, we need to make sure there are enough staff to look after our older Australians who are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus,” Mr Tudge said.


“Many international students already work in the aged care sector but are restricted to 40 hours a fortnight. We’re relaxing those limits to help fill the temporary staff shortages.


“This follows similar concessions to major supermarkets to keep shelves stocked with essential items.”


The measures will be administered by the Department of Home Affairs and are available to approved providers of Commonwealth-funded aged care services, only for existing employees.


Providers can register with the Department if they believe the changes will assist them. Employers are still required to abide by all relevant Australian workplace laws. Students have the same rights under Australian workplace law as all other employees.


These temporary measures are solely designed to address staff shortages.


More information is available on the Department of Home Affairs website or the Global Service Centre on 131 881.


20 March 2020.