It’s good news that carers for people with intellectual disabilities are getting more recognition. A court decision has found that sleep-over shifts are work and, so, workers need to be paid at least the minimum wage for the whole shift, not just when they have to get up to assist the person.
Apparently, that will increase the wages for a sleep-over shift from about $30 to about $125. IHC is understandably a little worried and this post isn’t about casting them as villians against the workers. There are 250,000 of these shifts a year. Where is the IHC, government-funded with a budget of nearly $200 million, suddenly going to find another $25 million a year?
Time for the government to stump up I would say. $25 million a year is a trifling sum to a government that spends $190 million a day, yet it will ensure that workers get fair pay for doing important and valuable work. If they can find $50 million for the Sir John Key Memorial Cycleway, they can find $25 million for this.
Unfortunately, there still hasn’t been any response from ministers on the issue. They seem to all be under orders to stay the hell out of the media so as not to overshadow Key’s jaunt around the islands.
– Marty G