Health Minister David Clark has introduced the Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlements Amendment Bill to Parliament.
The bill gives effect to two pay equity settlement agreements between the Crown and vocational and disability support workers and mental health and addiction support workers.
As part of the agreements, the parties agreed that certain matters would be provided for in the Care and Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlement Act 2017.
The agreements follow a pay equity claim and settlement agreement, known as the TerraNova Settlement, which gave rise to the principal Act. That agreement is available on the Ministry of Health website
The TerraNova Settlement followed a pay equity claim in the Employment Court that care and support workers were systematically underpaid because the work is predominately performed by women. Thus, the primary purposes of the agreements are to address historical inequities and achieve pay equity in a consistent manner across the support services sector. The agreements establish a matrix of pay rates, linked to qualifications, to be phased in until 30 June 2022.
It was agreed by the parties to the settlement agreements that mental health and addiction support workers and vocational and disability support workers form workforces that are analogous to the care and support workers to which the TerraNova Settlement and the principal Act apply. Consequently, those workers should be treated in a manner that is consistent with the terms of the TerraNova Settlement and the principal Act.
The bill will come into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.