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A Bill for an Act to amend the Aged Care Act 1997, and for related purposes
For authoritative information on the progress of bills and on amendments proposed to them, please see the House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, and the Journals of the Senate as available on the Parliament House website.
Registered 22 Jul 2019
Introduced HR 22 Jul 2019
Table of contents.

2019

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Aged Care Amendment (Staffing Ratio Disclosure) Bill 2019

 

No.      , 2019

 

(Ms Sharkie)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to amend the Aged Care Act 1997, and for related purposes

  

  


Contents

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 1

3............ Schedules............................................................................................ 2

Schedule 1—Amendments                                                                                                3

Aged Care Act 1997                                                                                                    3

 

 


A Bill for an Act to amend the Aged Care Act 1997, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act is the Aged Care Amendment (Staffing Ratio Disclosure) Act 2019.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  The whole of this Act

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3  Schedules

                   Legislation that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1Amendments

  

Aged Care Act 1997

1  After section 9‑3B

Insert:

9‑3C  Obligation to notify Secretary of staff to care recipient ratios

             (1)  An approved provider must, for each residential care service operated by the approved provider and for each day referred to in subsection (4), notify the Secretary of the ratio of:

                     (a)  care recipients to whom residential care is being provided through that residential care service; to

                     (b)  staff members of the approved provider who provide a service connected with that residential care service.

Note:          Approved providers have a responsibility under Part 4.3 to comply with this obligation. Failure to comply with a responsibility can result in a sanction being imposed under Part 4.4. Information notified under this section is made publicly available (see section 86‑9).

             (2)  The ratio must also be broken down into ratios for each category of staff member referred to in subsection (5).

             (3)  In counting staff members for the purposes of this section, part‑time staff members are to be taken into account as an appropriate fraction of a full‑time equivalent.

             (4)  For the purposes of subsection (1), the days are the following:

                     (a)  the 4 days, in each year, specified in the regulations; or

                     (b)  if no days are specified in the regulations for the purposes of paragraph (a)—each 1 January, 1 April, 1 July and 1 October.

             (5)  For the purposes of subsection (2), the categories of staff member are the following:

                     (a)  registered nurses level 1;

                     (b)  registered nurses level 2;

                     (c)  registered nurses level 3;

                     (d)  registered nurses level 4;

                     (e)  registered nurses level 5;

                      (f)  enrolled nurses;

                     (g)  nurses with a certificate IV or an equivalent qualification;

                     (h)  personal care attendants;

                      (i)  allied health staff;

                      (j)  other staff members.

             (6)  A notification under subsection (1) must be made as soon as practicable after the day to which the notification relates.

             (7)  The notification must be in the form approved by the Secretary.

             (8)  The notification may include an explanation by the approved provider in relation to any ratio notified. The explanation must not exceed 250 words in total.

Note:          If an explanation is provided, the explanation will be made publicly available: see section 86‑9.

             (9)  If, between making notifications under subsection (1), there is a change of more than 10% in a ratio notified under that subsection, the approved provider must, within 28 days of that change, notify the Secretary of the change.

           (10)  The Secretary must cause a review of the operation of this section to be undertaken as soon as possible after the first anniversary of the commencement of this section.

           (11)  The review must include a review of:

                     (a)  the operation of subsection (4) and whether the ratio referred to in subsection (1) should be reported for both daytime and night time and for Saturdays and Sundays; and

                     (b)  the operation of subsection (9) and whether the requirement to notify changes under that subsection creates an unnecessary reporting burden for smaller residential care services.

           (12)  The Secretary must give the Minister a written report of the review.

           (13)  The Minister must cause a copy of the report of the review to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the report is given to the Minister.

           (14)  In this section:

staff member of an approved provider has the same meaning as in section 63‑1AA.

2  After subsection 86‑9(1)

Insert:

          (1A)  The Secretary must make publicly available:

                     (a)  any information about staff to care recipient ratios of residential care services notified to the Secretary under section 9‑3C; and

                     (b)  for each residential care service for which information is so notified in relation to a day:

                              (i)  any information about the average claim made in relation to that service for that day under the Aged Care Funding Instrument (as in force or existing from time to time); and

                             (ii)  any information about whether, relative to other residential care services, that average claim is low, medium or high.

3  Subsection 86‑9(2)

After “(1)”, insert “or (1A)”.