COVID-19 - Paying resident family carers

Information for disabled people and their family and whānau who want to employ family members to provide disability support during Alert Level 2 or self-isolation.

Last updated 15 May 2020

During the COVID-19 response we are increasing flexibility to employ family members you live with to provide disability support to you.

When you can pay a family member instead of your support worker to provide support

If you want to pay a family member to provide support during Alert Level 2 or self-isolation please check the following guidelines.

If you have a contract with a support worker

If you are on Individualised Funding, your contract with a support worker should be honoured.

You can only pay a family member that you live with to provide your support if a support worker can’t come to work because they or someone they know:

  • could be sick with COVID-19
  • has had close contact with someone with COVID-19
  • is at higher risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19.

If you get support through a provider

If your provider agrees, they can employ a family member you live with to provide your support during Alert Level 2 and self-isolation.

If this is something that you and your provider would like to pursue, you could organise a casual contracting arrangement.

Funding

You can use your existing Individualised Funding (IF) or Carer Support allocation to pay a family member you live with to provide support that substitutes for ordinary care arrangements.

We are not reviewing existing Funded Family Care (FFC) arrangements under a Section 88 notice at this time.

If you have a Home and Community Support Services allocation, please contact your provider to discuss this option.

What you can pay

You should pay in line with what any other care and support worker would be paid. Information on pay equity rates is available from your host provider.

See also information about the care and support worker’s pay equity settlement for Home and Community Support Services providers - Pay equity settlement - information for employees.

Hours of work

In order to maintain their wellbeing, family carers should not work more than 40 hours a week.

If more than 40 hours of care are provided per week, work with your Needs assessment and service coordination service (NASC), Host, or Provider to access enough support to relieve your family carer and avoid burn out.

The Ministry will prepare guidance for NASC for taking into account the impact on family carers of providing extra support during COVID-19 measures on appropriate respite allocations.

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