2 Aug 2016

Union considers care worker wage appeal

1:23 pm on 2 August 2016

The union representing home care relief workers is considering taking a minimum wage case to the Supreme Court.

The Court of Appeal yesterday overturned a decision paving the way for minimum wages for home care relief workers.

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Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Ms Lowe worked as a support carer and took a case to the Employment Court arguing the $3 an hour subsidy she received was insufficient.

In March last year, the Employment Court decided in her favour, ruling she was a 'homeworker' and entitled to employment protections.

This paved the way for tens of thousands of relief workers to receive the minimum wage and holidays, instead of a subsidy.

The Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board appealed.

In overturning the decision, the Court of Appeal said people who filled in for those caring for ill or disabled family members are not employed by the Ministry of Health or a District Health Board.

It said she was selected by the primary carer, not engaged by the ministry or the Capital and Coast District Health Board, and therefore not entitled to standard employment protections.

Ms Lowe's union E tū said it was considering an appeal.

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