Care and support workers pay equity settlement

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.

In this section

  • A summary of the care and support workers pay equity settlement, how pay equity helps, how we're funding pay equity and a timeline of the settlement. Read more
  • The care and support workers pay equity settlement covers 55,000 workers in aged and disability residential care and home and community support services around New Zealand. Read more about how it affects employees. Read more
  • Information for providers to assist with the care and support workers pay equity settlement implementation. Read more
  • How the care and support workers pay equity settlement affects people using Individualised Funding, Enhanced Individualised Funding and Enabling Good Lives Hosted Personal Budgets. Read more
  • The Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlements Act 2017 (the Act), indexes support worker wage rates with the Labour Cost Index (LCI) to ensure the relevance of wages over time. Read more
  • As part of both the 2017 aged care and support pay equity settlement, and the 2018 mental health and addiction support worker settlement, workers can qualify for pay equity via either job tenure, or level of qualification. For qualification-based pay equity, support workers either need to have an actual New Zealand Certificate in Health & Wellbeing (Level 2–4), or a qualification which has been assessed as equivalent to it. Read more
  • In June 2022 the Government amended the Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlements Act 2017 to provide a minimum wage rate adjustment for these workers to apply from 1 July 2022 and to maintain the t Read more
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