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Cabinet approves in-between travel settlement

Hon Tony Ryall

Minister of Health

12 September 2014 Media Statement

Cabinet approves in-between travel settlement

A proposed settlement has been agreed that will lead to home support workers getting paid for the time they spend traveling between clients.

Health Minister Tony Ryall said Cabinet has agreed to a $38 million a year settlement which will now go out to employees, home and community support service employers and district health boards for ratification.

The Public Service Association and the Service and Food Workers Union will both recommend the proposal to their members which, if accepted, would take effect from 1 July 2015.

In March this year, Cabinet authorised the Ministry of Health to enter negotiations to address the inconsistency around payment for in-between travel time. Negotiations commenced in April.

“Home and community support services support over 40,000 New Zealanders to complete everyday tasks, such as house-cleaning, meal preparation, and keeping mobile,” says Mr Ryall.

“At the moment some workers are paid for in-between travel time while others are not. This settlement will ensure workers are fairly and consistently paid for their travel costs in the future. It also creates an opportunity to look into how we can further improve training and support to these staff.”

Under the proposal, home support workers will be paid for the time taken to travel between clients, at the minimum wage rate, from 1 July 2015 and mileage of, at least, 50 cents per kilometre from 1 March 2016.

An expert reference group will be established by the end of the year to develop and oversee the transition to a more ‘regularised’ workforce where workers have guaranteed hours and workloads. The group will also conduct a review of health funded home and community support services looking at future demand and sustainability.

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