People considering hiring an in-home carer often ask us ‘how much should I pay the carer per hour?’ Carers on the Careseekers website often state their hourly rate. While the average price is $25 per hour, this varies depending on years of experience and expertise. How much you are willing pay a carer per hour will depend on your budget, the level of experience of the carer and the tasks you are asking them to do. It will also depend on whether you are engaging them as an employee or independent contractor.
If you decide to engage a carer as an employee, you should take into account the following when working out how much to pay per hour.
- There is a minimum award wage in Australia As of 1 July 2015 it is $17.29 an hour for workers over the age of 21. An employee should not be paid under the national minimum award wage. For more information click here.
- The duties required What tasks are you asking the carer to do? Is it basic meal preparation or all aspects of personal care including toileting, showering and dressing. Greater effort, work and skill usually equates with higher levels of pay. As does a carer with extensive experience, particularly in a specialty area e.g. an experienced dementia carer.
- The market rate The market may have a ‘going rate’ for carers in your location and with the skills and experience you want. If possible, ask around and find out what other people are paying carers doing similar roles. Matching market rate, or paying extra if you have the budget to do so, may make it easier for you to hire a carer and keep them committed to the role!
- The type of role you are offering Is the caring role casual, part-time, full-time or live-in? It is important to work this out as it may affect how much you pay your carer.
- Full-time: ongoing employment and works an average of 38 hours a week.
- Part-time: usually works the same hours and days each week but may be some variation and always less than 38 hours a week.
- Casual: no regular hours, no expectation of ongoing work. Casual employees are not entitled to sick leave, annual leave or many of the other leave entitlements and benefits of full or part-time employees. Rather casuals are paid a ‘casual loading’, which means they receive a higher hourly rate.
- Live-in: a live-in carer is someone who lives in the home of the person they are caring for. Board and household bills (water, electricity, gas) are always covered by the employer, and food is usually also covered (within reason). A weekly or monthly wage is paid to the carer. However, it is usually less than if you were paying the carer by the hour.
Careseeker’s team of care consultants are here to help you and advise what a fair rate of pay is for the job.