aged care workforce insights: COVID and beyond

COVID has laid bare the challenges Australia’s aged care sector must navigate to support our ageing population. Our latest workforce report offers unique insights that can help shape the sector's future.

Read the report

re-imagining the aged care workforce of tomorrow

Almost a quarter of HESTA members work in aged care. As partners in their future, we want to help drive meaningful change for the sector and the millions of Australians who’ll depend on it. 

Our unique insights into the sector's workforce can help inform effective strategies to attract and retain talent – ultimately improving our members’ working experiences and retirement outcomes.




about the report

Using our data insights capability, HESTA took a snapshot of our members working in aged care, both pre COVID (May 2019) and during COVID (July 2020).

More than 4600 health and community services professionals completed a survey, including over 1500 aged care professionals.

Questions covered members’ workplace experiences and job intentions,  employment satisfaction drivers, attitudes towards their employer and industry, and how COVID affected their work, financial situation and industry outlook.

HESTA also discussed the findings with industry organisations, including peak bodies, employers and unions. Their valuable insights have provided further context to the research.




Here's what they told us


  1. COVID had a significant impact on the aged care workforce. Approximately a quarter of HESTA’s aged care members made a claim to access their super early and nearly 30% of aged care survey respondents reported a drop in household income due to the pandemic.
  2. Despite the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and COVID, the aged care workforce showed a strong upswing in positive sentiment –  they were prouder to work in the sector, felt more appreciated and valued by their employer and the community, and were stronger advocates for a career in aged care, and for their employers and leaders.
  3. But the research highlighted a polarised workforce. There was a significant number of unhappy and dissatisfied aged care professionals – detractors – who were motivated to advocate against their employers and their sector. This has the potential to create difficulties for attracting the next generation of aged care professionals, especially given the urgent need to grow the workforce to meet the demands of an ageing population, as identified by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
  4. Nevertheless the sector also has an opportunity. The significant improvement in workforce sentiment in a challenging environment indicates workforce strategies implemented now may be effective at increasing employee engagement and the ability to attract and retain people. 
  5. There was unanimous agreement among aged care employers, peak bodies and unions that improving pay, conditions and skills development opportunities was key to ensuring high-quality, sustainable jobs and meeting future demand.








aged care worker listening to colleague




aged care workforce insights: COVID and beyond

get in touch

For more information or to speak to a member of our partnerships team, please email us.