Lizzie Hunter

NZ Government announces changes to Family Funded Care policy

Parents and partners of people with disability and high or very high support needs will be paid up to $25.50 an hour for caring for their family members under new changes announced by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

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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 in changes to the Government’s Family Funded Care policy.

The changes address issues that have caused national and international concern since Funded Family Care was introduced in 2013.

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

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The government has also decided to repeal Part 4A of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 which prevents families from taking discrimination cases about breaches to the Human Rights Act 1993 to court.

Associate Minister of Health, Julie Anne Genter said the changes will restore people’s human rights to be involved in decision making and give them 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 person with disability and their family member,” she said.

The changes will come into effect in 2020 once legislation has gone through a Select Committee process which will include public consultation.

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