Government Response to the Family Carers Case

Summary

This Regulatory Impact Statement provides an analysis of options to respond to the Courts’ decisions on the Family Carers case and options for managing risks associated with the Government’s preferred response. The Courts found that the Ministry’s current policy of not paying family carers (parents, spouses and resident family members) to provide disability support services to disabled family members does not comply with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 because it is unjustifiable discrimination on the basis of family status.

The Government has decided that the immediate focus of its response will be on the issues that directly arise from the Courts’ decisions, which is the discrimination that arises within Ministry of Health funded home and community support services (HCSS) through not paying parents and resident family members to provide these services to their adult disabled family members.

This Statement includes analysis of policy options for addressing this discrimination, including regulatory impacts. The Government’s preferred response to the Courts’ decisions carries a number of significant risks and issues, including legal risks.  This Statement therefore includes advantages and disadvantages of proceeding to implement the policy response and options for reducing the associated risks, including legislative options. Legally privileged sections have been redacted.

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