Govt set to repeal 'discriminatory' disability law, overhaul carer policy

  • 27/09/2018
Senior Woman Being Pushed In A Wheelchair.
Photo credit: Getty/ file

The Government plans to repeal a "discriminatory" disability law and make changes to a policy for people caring for relatives with disabilities.

Cabinet will consider changes to the Funded Family Care (FFC) policy later this year, intending to repeal Part 4A of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 (the Act).

"There have been consistent calls for Part 4A to be repealed because it is discriminatory," said Acting Associate Health Minister James Shaw.

"In particular, Part 4A has been inconsistent with human rights legislation because it denies families the right to complain about breaches of their human rights relating to family care policies."

The Funded Family Care policy allows payment for people who care for resident family members classed as having high or very high needs relating to disability, long term chronic health conditions, mental health and addiction and aged care needs.

Over the next few months the Government will speak with families and stakeholders on policy issues including eligibility, pay rates for carers, the employment relationship and type of care covered.

The NZ Carers Alliance said the current criteria for FFC was so restrictive that only a few hundred highly vulnerable disabled people qualified, and they had no option but to employ their family carers.

"Most family carers don't want to be employed by their disabled child or a disabled family member they live with, but some do," said Health Minister David Clark.

"We acknowledge that many families have waited a long time to see this policy changed, and I want to thank them for their ongoing patience."