Maggie Tait of NZPA reports:
Paying overnight staff to sleep will cost more than $500 million over three years and changing the law may be considered, Health Minister Tony Ryall says.
The Court of Appeal yesterday upheld an earlier Employment Court decision against an IHC provider, which had opposed paying for sleep-over hours. Instead of a shift allowance of about $30, staff would get at least the minimum hourly wage.
If this is the law, then the law needs to change. If you are rostered to be on call then you should get some kind of allowance for this, but to get paid the same rate of pay for sleeping as for actually working is just ridicolous.
Staff know this. This is why they accepted jobs where you get paid at least the minimum wage for hourrs you actually work, and a lesser allowance for merely being on call.
If the law is not changed (or appealed to Supreme Cout) then $500 million will be be spent – and not extra patient or pupil will get better care due to it. It will be $500 million for a zero return. No IHC patient will get better care due to that $500 million.
I note Labour have said they would provide the extra funding. God know what rainbow they think they will find the pot of gold under. Their promises must be getting close to $10b now. Just last night their Botany candidate was promising that ECE funding would be increased to 1% of GDP.