On 18 April 2017, the Government announced an historic $2 billion pay equity settlement for care and support workers in New Zealand’s aged and disability residential care and home and community support services.
The settlement redresses past undervaluation of care and support work, which is mainly carried out by women.
As well as increasing the wages of workers, making a real difference to their lives, the settlement improves access to training and supports reduced turnover in the sector, meaning better care for New Zealanders.
Since July 2017, when the new pay scale was brought in, 55,000 care and support workers have received pay rises of between 15 and 50%.
Workers on the minimum wage of $15.75 per hour moved to at least $19 per hour – a 21% rise. For people working 30 hours or more a week, this adds at least $100 to their weekly earnings or an additional $5,000 a year.