The need for the In-Between Travel Agreement

The Public Service Association took a case to the Employment Relations Authority on behalf of a home support worker. They argued that time spent traveling between clients is work, and they should therefore be paid at least the minimum wage rate for that time.

As a result of the pending case, the Minister of Health established discussions with the Ministry of Health, home and community support providers, the unions and the district health boards to see if they could reach agreement on how to solve this issue.

In August 2014 these parties signed the In-Between Travel Agreement. As part of the agreement the unions and employers asked all home and community support workers to vote on whether they supported the agreement.

Raising the rate per kilometre

The In-Between travel per kilometre rate was increased from 50 cents per km to 58.5 cents per km from 24 August 2020 and to 63.5 cents per km from 15 March 2022.

In Budget 2021 the Government approved funding to increase Home and Community Support Service (HCSS) workers’ travel time payments from the minimum wage to workers’ ordinary wage rates.

This rate increase came into effect on 1 July 2021. While this came into effect 1 July 2021 payments at the ordinary wage rate weren't paid until March 2022 when the updated IBT claim portal was deployed.

Read more about Budget 2021.

Engagement on the settlement

The Ministry of Health worked with many interested parties in designing the IBT system and its introduction. Te Whatu Ora continues to work with employers, unions and others to ensure the system is working well.

The In-Between Travel Settlement was agreed by:

  • the Crown (Ministry of Health)
  • providers of Home and Community based Support Services
  • unions, on behalf of Home and Community based Support Service workers
  • all 20 district health boards.

The Ministry of Health engaged with the settlement parties and key stakeholders to agree the actions, processes and timelines below.

Timeline of agreed commitments

Agreed commitments include:

  • In-Between Travel (IBT) Settlement — September 2014
  • Part A travel payments — July 2015 / March 2016
  • Minimum Wage funding (IBT) — April 2016
  • Average price funding — May 2016
  • Part B regularisation (Variation) — October 2016.

Process agreements include:

  • Joint working group — September 2016
  • Virtual pilot — October / November 2016
  • Provider workshops — February 2017
  • Support worker workshops — February / March 2017
  • Guaranteed Hours implementation — 1 April 2017.

This engagement will continue as Te Whatu Ora works with the health sector to progress regularisation and develop future models of care.