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Employment Court ruling – significant acknowledgement of care as work

Yesterday’s ruling by the Employment Court found that the mother, Ms Fleming, of a severely disabled adult son with high care needs, is a homeworker and the Ministry of Health is her employer and therefore is entitled to be paid for hours worked caring. The CTU was an intervenor in this case.

The Judge also ruled that Ms Fleming was discriminated against in the way the state treated her and that she is entitled to compensation

“This is a significant ruling, it makes it very clear that caring work is entitled to be paid work including if the work is done by an parent. The judgment also re-asserts that employment rights have a legitimate role to play in disability policy,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

“The next step will be to work through to understand how this will affect the sector, or how widespread the application of the decision will be.”

“This ruling is a meaningful advancement in the area of workers’ rights in family care of persons with disabilities,” Wagstaff said.