(Image: Tom Red/Private Media)

Continuing government inaction on the aged care workforce -- including while we wait for the new Labor government to settle in -- is exacerbating an already disastrous shortage of workers that is compromising care standards.

A new analysis by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) shows that workforce problems in the sector have significantly worsened in less than a year since it last examined how many workers the sector will need to offset high rates of attrition. CEDA now projects it will face a shortfall of 35,000 workers a year just to maintain current, inadequate standards. It finds nearly 40% of workers in the sector plan to leave in the next five years.

This is significantly up from a shortfall of 17,000 workers a year CEDA found less than 12 months ago in a previous analysis. The report is reinforced by a recent University of Technology Sydney report on the sector, which found that worker shortages had led to a slowing of growth in care time for residential care, and an actual fall in care time for home care recipients: