Caregivers of disabled family members to be paid

By Jessica Tyson

Caregivers of people with high support needs will soon be paid to care for their disabled family members as part of changes to funded family care.

The government announced today that it will make legislative changes to make this possible. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says, “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.”

As part of the changes, pay rates will increase from minimum wage to a rate of between $20.50 and $25.50 per hour.

Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter says it means parents and partners of people with high or very high support needs will be able to be paid to care for their loved ones.

“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.”

Budget 2019 allocated $32 million to facilitate the changes, due to come into effect next year once legislation has gone through a select committee process.