Aged Care Act overhaul: What could proposed laws mean for directors?

12/02/2024
Consultation on controversial draft legislation proposed to overhaul the Aged Care Act 1997 closes this Friday. The draft bill has directors concerned that board members may face significant penalties including possible imprisonment and large fines under the proposed new laws. So what are the risks?
 

Consultation on controversial draft legislation proposed to overhaul the Aged Care Act 1997 closes this Friday.

The draft bill has many in the director community concerned that board members along with other responsible person(s) of aged care providers may soon face significant penalties including possible imprisonment and large fines under the proposed new laws.

Global insurance provider, Lockton, prepared this article in consultation with Kinny Legal and Mirus, in which they wrote: 

“Aged care providers are constantly at risk of breaching a variety of acts of legislation, particularly in the current environment. Whether it is due to the directors’ individual actions, the behaviour of employees or organisational failure in meeting compliance obligations, the large civil penalties and the threat of litigation presents real financial risk to providers. Although boards and executives do their best to minimise the risks, they are not immune to incurring fines for breaches of legislation.”

This article by Hall & Wilcox also examines the new Aged Care Bill 2023 and unpacks its potential impact on governance and boards.

"Should the Bill be passed as law (the Act), its ramifications will reverberate across the governance landscape of approved providers and their respective boards and management committees," it says.

"Among the anticipated changes lie a host of new statutory duties poised to redefine operational standards, accompanied by the imposition of fresh civil penalties and criminal offenses. As the sector braces for a paradigm shift, stakeholders must seize the opportunity to engage in informed discourse and navigate the impending changes with diligence and foresight."

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