6 Oct 2014

UN wants parity for family carers

3:54 pm on 6 October 2014

A top United Nations committee has criticised the New Zealand Government for a law denying equal pay to people caring for their disabled relatives.

The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities said it is concerned about provisions in the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Act and has asked the Government to reconsider them.

Following a long controversy, the Government passed the bill last year.

It ensures that family members get paid for caring for disabled relatives, but caps their pay at 40 hours a week. It also prevents new claimants from taking legal action.

Caregiver groups criticised the new law, and Labour and Green parties pledged to repeal it if they were elected.

The UN committee said the Government should ensure that all family members who are carers are paid on the same basis as other carers.

Family members should also be entitled to go to court if they want to, it said.

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