$38 million deal praised by care worker

  • 19/02/2016

The community care worker whose case led to a new deal for the sector says she's delighted parliament has unanimously passed a bill that's going to make a huge difference.

The Bill passed its third reading yesterday, and from the beginning of next month about 24,000 community care workers will be paid for the time and cost of travelling between clients.

Until now, the organisations that employ them, which are funded through the health system, didn't have to pay for travel time or mileage.

The new deal is going to cost the Government about $38 million a year.

The workers look after more than 40,000 mostly elderly people who live in their own homes.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Bill, which was passed unanimously, is an important milestone in recognising the contribution care and support workers make to the lives of many people.

It's the result of a ruling by the Employment Relations Authority in a case brought by union member Jenny Goodman.

She says she's delighted with the outcome, and everyone in the sector will benefit.

"Home support makes a huge difference to people's lives and it also saves the government millions by keeping them out of rest homes and hospitals," she said.

"We don't do this job to get rich, we do it for the sense of achievement - but this will give us all a fair go."