New Zealand : Family Carers To Be PAID ... Yes PAID ... the NZ Minimum Wage For Caring ! UK Carers Call For Parity!



PM announces spouses will be paid for caring for ill or disabled loved ones. >



**_Partners and spouses will be paid up to $25.50 an hour to look after ill or disabled family members under new changes announced today by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The changes will come into effect in 2020 once legislation has gone through a select committee process which will include public consultation.
This follows on from announcement last September to the repeal Funded Family Care, a policy that prevented partners and spouses from being paid to look after their disabled or ill loved ones.

The policy, which was rushed through under urgency in 2013 and has been described as a “shame on society”, meant that family members other than spouses were paid minimum wage.

Before 2013, the Ministry of Health had a policy of never paying carers of adults with disabilities if they were related.

Alongside disabled families that have been fighting for this change for years, Ardern and Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter made the announcement at Premier House in Wellington today.

They confirmed that the Government would extend coverage to care for all children under 18, and would repeal part 4A of the NZ Public Health and Disability Act, which underpins the policy and also bans families from challenging it in court on the grounds of discrimination.

“We have heard loud and clear from families with disabled members about the need to change Funded Family Care. Today progresses a more compassionate Government that addresses the needs of stretched parents and partners,” Ardern said.

Genter said it was important to repeal part 4A.
"This will restore people’s human rights to be involved in decision-making, and have the right to complain about policies that affect them and their families.

“We also heard from families about the need to remove the requirement for an employment relationship between a disabled person and their family member. Health Ministers will consider alternative options which do not place unreasonable expectations on disabled people, their family or whānau.”

The current scheme means that the disabled or ill person was the employer, creating a barrier for children to “employ” their parents.

Under the new policy, spouses and family members will be paid between $20.50 to $25.50 an hour, depending on their years of service.

It’s the same pay rates that apply following the pay equity settlement for care and support workers in New Zealand’s aged and disability residential care and home and community support services.

The new policy would cost $32 million over four years.

Asked why it had this long to announce since the previous September announcement, Ardern said Budget bids had to be approved.

Currently, spouses are not entitled to be paid for the care of their disabled or ill loved ones.

In its pre-election manifesto, Labour said it would repeal the legislation, and that it would ensure all family caregivers could “provide and be paid for assessed care for their disabled adult family member”.

After Labour was elected, disability groups petitioned for the law to be overturned.

Last year, a group of families known as the King plaintiffs told their stories to the Herald in an effort to hold the Labour-led Government to its word._**

Yep … virtually everything we have asked for … parity with workers !

One for CUK to take in … again … and again … and then … ???


Another article which throws more light on what’s happening in New Zealand.

The economic value of their carers and the co-operation between the varuious supporting organisations to produce an
united front :

Three - Country Restricted
A snippet to whet your appetite :


The billions of dollars’ worth of work carers do revealed in new report.

It has been estimated respite carers provide up to $17 billion of unpaid care annually.

A new report by Carers Alliance, Alzheimers NZ and IHC - Respite in New Zealand: We must do better - argues the system is in crisis.

Around 10 percent of Kiwis identified themselves as carers in the 2013 census, looking after 1.1 million other New Zealanders.

Lillian Jarrett is a full-time carer for her son, and has been for 30 years. She says a lot of families struggle to find carers so have to do it themselves.

“It’s disgusting really, because I get funded six hours a day basically under the funded family care, then I have carers come in. Overnight care, I do it all.”

So , how can an organisation , founded by amalgamations in 2004 , achieve the ultimate for their carers ?

A little background … makes interesting reading :

NZ Carers Alliance - CarersNZ


NZ Carers Alliance

Established in November 2004, the NZ Carers Alliance is a > CONSORTIUM > of more than 40 national not for profits striving for better support and recognition for New Zealand’s 420,000+ family, whānau, and aiga carers.

At its first meeting in 2004 there was a call for a Carers’ Strategy, and in April 2008 the Alliance achieved this goal when the then Labour government launched the first ever New Zealand Carers’ Strategy and Five Year Action Plan. The current Government updated the Carers’ Strategy and launched a new five year Action Plan for carers in March 2014. We are in discussions with the Government for a third Action Plan when the current one finishes next year.

The Carers Alliance works closely with government agencies to ensure family carers have a voice in public policy and delivery of Carers’ Strategy actions.

Sometimes progress for carers is slower than we’d like it to be. We would like a better fairer Carer Support Subsidy and respite services for carers of all ages, a fair payment system for carers, and a continence system that is transparent and fair for all New Zealanders. These are some of the goals the Carers Alliance is working toward, with your input and support.

NZ Carers Alliance participants

Age Concern NZ, Allergy NZ, Alzheimers NZ, ANZMES (Associated NZ ME Society), Anxiety NZ Trust, Aotearoa Maori Whanau Carers Network, Arthritis NZ, Autism NZ, BALANCE NZ, Blind Foundation, Cancer Society of NZ, Carers NZ, CCS Disability Action, Cerebral Palsy Society of NZ, Complex Care Group, Cystic Fibrosis Association of NZ, DHB Mental Health Family Advisors, Diabetes NZ, Epilepsy NZ, Federation of Disability Information Centres, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, HeartKids New Zealand, Hospice NZ, IHC, Integrated Neurological Rehabilitation Foundation (iNRF), Kidney Kids, Lysosomal Diseases NZ, MND New Zealand, MS Society, Muscular Dystrophy Association of NZ, Neurological Alliance, NZ Continence Association, NZ Down Syndrome Association, NZ Organisation for Rare Disorders, NZ Spinal Trust, Parent to Parent, Parents of Vision Impaired NZ Inc, Parkinsons NZ, Rescare NZ, Retina NZ Inc, SAMS, Supporting Families in Mental Illness NZ, Stroke Foundation, The Angelman Network, TOA Pacific, and Young Carers NZ.

NZ Carers Alliance Guiding Principles

National non-government organisations who are participants in the New Zealand Carers Alliance have developed, and are committed to, these Guiding Principles.

Caregiving issues must be a central component of healthcare, long term care and social service policymaking.

Carers must be protected against the financial, physical and emotional consequences of caregiving which can put at risk their own health and wellbeing.

Carers must have access to affordable, readily available, high quality respite care as a key component of a supportive services network.

Carers must be supported by family-friendly policies in the workplace in order to meet their caregiving responsibilities. These may include, but not be limited to, flexitime, job-sharing, counselling, information and referral to community services.

Carers must have appropriate, timely and ongoing information, learning, advice, and support in order to successfully meet their caregiving responsibilities and to be effective advocates for their families across all settings.

Carers and their family members must have affordable, readily available, high quality, comprehensive services that are coordinated across all care settings.

Carers and those they support must be assured of affordable, well qualified and sustainable health care services across all care settings.

Carers and their families must have access to regular comprehensive reviews of their own needs to determine what assistance they require, with the assurance that within reason these needs will be met.

Carers must have a separate, formal, and specific voice in determining services to meet their own needs, recognising that these are sometimes different to those of the person they support.

( No " Us " as far as I could see … no direct participation ( No forum ) , but it works , it DELIVERS ! )

Almost self evident … an UMBRELLA organisation … what I first muted during CarerWatch days … revived recently :

( I feel chuffed … an idea of mine working in practice … and how ! )

( Carers NZ have their site … as do ALL partners : )

Clear , concise , objectives … and a WILL to persue.

If ever our two supporting organisations wanted a blueprint , this is it.

The options for them is quite simple … as muted several times over the years.

Either evolve or remain ineffective … thus leaving the 8.8 million literally , swinging in the wind as NOTHING they are doing
is working for us.

Government restores fairness for family carers.
Parents and partners of disabled people with high or very high support needs will be paid for caring for their family members, as the Government acts to restore fairness and dignity.

Pay rates for family carers will also increase from the current minimum wage to a fairer pay equity rate of between $20.50 and $25.50, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter said today announcing changes to the Government’s Family Funded Care policy.

“We have heard loud and clear from families with disabled members about the need to change Funded Family Care. Today progresses a more compassionate government that addresses the needs of stretched parents and partners,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

“I want to acknowledge families and whānau who provide this important and sometimes challenging care for their loved ones.


Family carers for ill or disabled welcome Govt changes to Funded Family Care.
Family carers are welcoming a Government announcement to pay partners and spouses who look after ill family members up to $25.50 an hour.

The Government will also extend Funded Family Care to those caring for children under 18 and will repeal part 4A of the Public Health and Disability Act, which bans families from challenging the policy on grounds of discrimination.

It will also change the employment relationship so the person being cared for is not the employer - though exactly how this will be managed is still to be worked out.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the changes after hosting disabled family members at Premier House today with Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter, who said the 4A clause was “incredibly offensive”.


Caregiving parents and partners of disabled people to be paid - Govt.
The Government is set to inject $32 million into paying parents and partners to care for people with high support needs and is scrapping an unusual employment situation those people are in.

John Forman has two adult children with a rare degenerative genetic condition. His severely disabled daughter lives at home and, under current laws, is his employer. The new law will change that.

There were currently about 600 family carers already receiving financial support and Government estimated about 640 more would be eligible under the new rules. Pay rates will also be improved.

Forman was already getting funding but said the current system, which is being changed, was punitive and insulting. The big beneficiaries of the change would be those with no other revenue source or on a benefit.

Some are even pressing for more changes :

A fairer go for carers- but not fair enough.

The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) is pleased that the government has corrected aspects of the Funded Family Care policy, but calls for more courageous action.

The changes provide parents and partners of those who need a high level of care with income for their mahi; raise the rates received by family carers and enhance the rights of carers generally.

These improvements, while long overdue, are appreciated by the Association.

A little more … pleased but work to do ?

**Disability care funding changes give false hope - family carers.

Parents struggling to look after disabled family members say changes announced by the government on Sunday mean very little and just gives false hope.**


Until now only family members other than spouses of disabled adult children are eligible for Funded Family Care.

That will change so parents of disabled children of any age can receive payment, and spouses of disabled adults will also qualify.

The rate they’re paid will rise from the minimum wage to between $20-25 an hour.

But there’s widespread disappointment carers’ biggest concern - the complex assessment system that decides how many hours of care they will be paid for - isn’t being changed.

The key element so far is just how the NZ have got around their Employment laws … caring as work ???

That , in itself , should be a wake up call to both our supporting organisations.

Numerous threads interlock … Fairer for Carers … Juggling work with caring … That infamous £ 123 weekly limit …
eligibility to claim Carers Allowance … the Direct Payments debacle … just a few but enough for a whole’s week
sit down session ???

The Alliance speaks :

**Alliance welcomes payment policy for family.

Alliance of > 45 national not for profits > welcomes payment policy for family carers.**


**_The Government’s announcement that it will make payment rules fairer for parents and spouses caring for elderly, ill, and disabled loved ones has been welcomed by the Carers Alliance, a coalition of 45 national NFPs whose networks include family carers.

Co-chair Janine Stewart says the new measures will make it possible for spouses to be paid, and increase the hourly rate paid to family carers from the minimum wage to similar levels as support workers. Parents of high needs children under the age of 18, who must often give up paid employment to provide 24/7 care, will also now be eligible for payment. Families have welcomed another change: that people with disabilities need to act as the employer of their family carer, a compliance burden that is often untenable.

“This is good progress, albeit the changes won’t take effect until next year,” she says. “There are concerns about how people are assessed to receive the payment and this is something that needs further work. The government has said it won’t be changing its assessment process, which is often unfair – it needs to change.”

NFPs want clear communications about the changes so families can make an informed decision about whether the new policy will work for them.

“There is a lot of detail still to come. Generally carers have welcomed the proposed changes but we worry that expectations are very high and the reality might disappoint. Most carers who receive payment get nothing like 40 hours a week, for example. But the progress that has been announced is a good start to a policy area that has been unfair and has hurt carers for many years.”

The Government is currently hosting consultation meetings with carers for a new five year Action Plan for the Carers’ Strategy. Payment has been an issue raised by carers at initial meetings and this is unsurprising as economic concerns are common for carers, Stewart says.
There are more than 430,000 carers in New Zealand, almost 90% of these of workforce age who must often make the choice between paid employment or providing 24/7 care.

Two thirds of the country’s carers are women.

“Their care and commitment for our most vulnerable citizens is priceless and the new payment measures will go some way toward ensuring New Zealanders can continue to make the decision to care.”_**

If the above was in relation to us , the church bells would be ringing , constantly , nationwide ?

For a minimum of 100,000 of our number … " Whoopie ! No more queueing in the local food bank next year ! " … ?

For low millions , that age old question … " To eat or heat or roof ? " … just got a lot easier … ?

Worth bringing this thread back to the front stage … especially when considering the forthcoming General Election … and certain manifestos already published ???

Perhaps an supporting organisation well known to us also need reminding ???

Are we being sold down the river yet again ???

In 2004, I made a presentation to the Carers UK AGM in London on this subject. I liked out status to that of slaves. We have no rights to sick pay, or time off, or respite care.
If we are children, students, or pensioners, we get absolutely NOTHING even if we are caring 168 hours a week.
If we try to maintain a life of our own, by trying to work, then although we have to care for 35 hours a week to become entitled to Carers Allowance, it is all taken away again if we earn over a set amount.
The government only gets away with this because it is classed as an “income substitute” benefit!! It should be classed as “work” because the government will happily pay anyone else the minimum wage for doing exactly the same tasks.
My motion was passed almost unanimously by the membership, to the obvious consternation of those on the “top table”.
In theory, from then on they should have kept in touch with me about the progress thereafter. I heard nothing. It was promptly buried.
15 years on, I’m now a pensioner. My parents have died, but my son with learning difficulties still takes up huge amounts of my time. I don’t qualify for CA any more.

Caring at any age is tough, caring now I’m 67, with significant health issues of my own, now widowed, is ten times harder. I have friends the same age as me who are enjoy being retired, enjoying their freedom. I have very, very little genuinely free time. Last night, I was sorting out M’s paperwork ready for another Ombudsman’s investigation. I took the paperwork to my bedroom so I could at least rest my legs whilst sorting. My eldest son had come to say he was off to bed at 8.30, ready for an early shift today, he leaves home about 5am. I was so tired I fell asleep sat up in bed, and woke at 10.30 in the same position, I was that tired. I know this isn’t good for me. If I had CA at least I could use it to pay for some domestic help.
I am, undoubtedly, a 21st century slave!

Just wondering , BB … how many exchanges of emails between CUK and their NZ cousins have there been ?

After all , CUK have the interests of their members as a cornerstone of their current philosophy ???

Back in 2008 - 2009 , there was " The Committee of 14 " … CUK were a member together with other supporting groups.

Seems like all 14 need to study just how their NZ cousins get things done ???

This is great, and I hope UK Carers can be PAID for caring, too.
Considering Labour have just dropped their manifesto, they are planning to have a National Care Service - details here:

I was interviewed by BBC Look North last week to ask questions for candidates for the upcoming election.
My question was what are they going to do to support artists (as that is my career) and carers.

I have no idea what the other parties’ plans are, and I dread to think what the Tories will do…!!
Apparently Brexit …!!!

If you’re in th eBBC Look North region, it will be aired on Sunday at 10.00a.m.

Very interesting twist which emphasises the difference in one’s Government’s approach to caring :

**Family files court papers naming govt ministers in challenge to caring for disabled children.

A second family has filed court papers challenging the rules around caring for severely disabled children.**


**_Last month RNZ reported the case of a disability advocate who has asked the Employment Court to decide if people with intellectual disabilities have the mental capacity to be employers.

Sushila and Arthur Butt are parents of two disabled children in their twenties, who have mental capacity of toddlers.

But in order to get government funding, the couple’s children - Ashneel, 27, and Alisha, 23 - > must be the employers.
Mrs Butt says that’s absurd.

“They’re forcing our children to be employers. They can’t do anything, they can’t read [or] write and they don’t know what good faith means. They don’t know what their obligations are,” she said.

Mrs Butt would also like the government to raise the pay rates for family carers from the minimum wage to those of professional carers, between $20-$25 an hour.

In July, the government announced changes to the Funded Family Care scheme, > including scrapping the employment relationship and raising the pay rates of family carers.

But the changes are yet to go through a select committee and Mrs Butt is worried if the current government is voted out, nothing will change.

The Ministry of Health says its working through details of changes to the employment relationship.

The ministers named in the action - Jenny Salesa, David Clark and Carmel Sepuloni - either did not respond to questions or refused to comment saying the case was before the Employment Court.

The Ministry of Health and the ministers must file their statement of defence by early December._**

If this is true, it is a step in the right direction!

I am a kinship unpaid carer. I also have to work as a childcare provider. And in the early days I was the one going to hospital appointments. My partner was working. Since he is dyslexic, I also had to take care of all the paperwork. I often sat up late at night eating as I did paperwork and filled out forms. He paid the bills.

Extra money is always good! But what would help us really is recognition. And empathy too. I want to be seen as more than a carer. After a while, filling out forms is taxing on your soul mentally and emotionally. Why can’t we do it online instead once a year when there are any changes?

That would be so much easier. I do not like to focus on the negative parts of looking after a small child with physical limitations all the time either. I want to be a working member of society. Not someone with virtually no identity of her own. How much money?


I want to be a working member of society. Not someone with virtually no identity of her own. How much money?

Carers are the FORGOTTEN members of society … or , at least , inhabiting the same space.

Without our contribution , " Society " as it’s now and perceived , would be very different.

( £ 140 odd BILLION need to replace OUR contribution for starters ! )

Perhaps a more inequitable one … and considerably less caring and tolerant for those less abled ?

One cannot judge another’s contribution to " Society " merely in monetary terms.

Monies … see very first post.