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Sleepover payment delays add insult to injury

4 March 2013

Sleepover payment delays add insult to injury
The Public Service Association is accusing the Ministry of Health of adding insult to injury for hundreds of community support workers who are still waiting for their rightful sleepover payments.

A Court of Appeal decision in 2011 ruled that support workers on sleepover shifts must be paid the minimum wage, and that backpay should be awarded.

The PSA says hundreds of carers are still waiting because of Ministry of Health delays in getting Cabinet approval and final funding sign off.

“These workers, who are already among the lowest paid, have been waiting for years to have their work fairly recognised and are now facing further delays. Well over a year later the government has yet to deliver on the settlement deal and give these workers what they are entitled to and what they deserve,” says PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff.

As part of the settlement it was agreed that workers be paid the minimum wage during sleepover work time.

Richard Wagstaff says Ministry delays means that is still not being paid out.

“The Ministry has told providers that if they start paying the full minimum wage to their workers before the final Order in Council sign off, the Ministry will not reimburse them for its share of the sleepover backpay.”

“The Ministry is essentially preventing people being paid what they are due. The delays are unacceptable and the Ministry needs to move quickly to ensure the funding is made available to honour these sleepover settlements,” he says.


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