2 Apr 2017

Deal gives home carers income security for first time

10:21 am on 2 April 2017

More than 20,000 home support workers have been guaranteed secure working hours for the first time.

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Photo: 123rf

The agreement - between unions, home care providers, the Health Ministry and District Health Boards - guarantees at least a minimum of 80 percent of their average working hours and access to more training.

A home support worker and E Tū union delegate, Jenny Stewart says the agreement begins to acknowlege the value of caring for vulnerable people in their homes.

Ms Stewart said the secure income would give around 20,000 workers a chance to plan their lives.

"If one client has to go into hospital or goes into respite care, or doesn't require us for the rest of the week because she's going to have a sister visit and doesn't need us, or goes into residential nursing care, or dies - well, we instantly lose that income. That just drops off - within 24 hours it's gone.

Ms Stewart said the industry consisted of mostly women working on a minimum wage.

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