About guaranteed hours

The principle of the Agreement is that all workers will be offered guaranteed hours.

The minimum wage increase from 1 April 2017 was factored into travel time by the Ministry.

HCSS implementation of guaranteed hours affects all support workers, regardless of whether they are union members.

Funding framework

This document assists providers to implement the variation of the IBT settlement for the funding of guaranteed hours from 1 April 2017.

It provides information on a wide range of the areas or issues impacted by the new workforce model for providers, employees and funders, and includes technical guidance and a number of funding policy issues regarding guaranteed hours.

Calculating guaranteed hours by days or pay period

Whether guaranteed hours are calculated on calendar days or pay period will vary between providers and employees. Providers are expected to take the most sensible approach and comply with the Employment Standards Legislation and the second variation of the In-between Travel Settlement Agreement.

How subcontracting will be treated

In the case of subcontracting arrangements, the main contractor will determine the approach to be applied.

Funding categories

Funding categories that can be claimed through the existing IBT portal based on actual claims are:

  • non-replaced, unavoidable cancelled visits, including travel time
  • ongoing reduction in agreed guaranteed hours (3 weeks).

Additional payments include the following:

  • ‘Top up’ funding for Unfilled Guaranteed Hours. Funding of $8.3 million is available up to 30 June 2018 for costs relating to this. Funding will be allocated proportional to providers’ IBT Part A claims from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016.
  • One-off funding towards providers’ implementation costs from a pool of $1 million. Funding will be allocated proportional to providers’ IBT Part A claims from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016.
  • $75 per qualifying employee for the purposes of costs associated with the employee workshops.
  • A contribution to pilot implementation costs for providers in Auckland and Taranaki.

Providers can submit claims under the no disadvantage clause based on evidence of actual and reasonable increases in costs.

Cancelled visits

The Guaranteed Hours Funding Framework outlines the details of the Ministry’s policy position, including the criteria for payments of cancelled visits and ongoing reduction in hours.

Which cancelled visits are funded

Te Whatu Ora will fund all unavoidable cancelled visits with a notice period of less than 48 hours where neither the provider nor the support worker has control over the cancellation(s); visits cancelled with more than 48 hours’ notice will not be funded.

Examples of unavoidable cancellations are:

  • client choice (though it is expected that the provider will work with clients to reduce the number of cancellations)
  • client unavailable.

Cancellations that won’t be funded

The below are examples of cancellations that will not be funded:

  • cancellations requested by the support worker such as the support worker being on leave
  • an error was made by the provider’s coordinator, that is, the client’s service authorisation ceased and the NASC notified the provider.

Cancelled appointment funding rate

$19.61. The rate of $19.61 is based on an average hourly wage rate adjusted for the 1 April 2017 minimum wage increase and on-costs of 20.9%.

Reductions in guaranteed hours

Ongoing reductions in agreed guaranteed hours

Three-weeks funding to support providers to consult with staff and give notice for ongoing reduction in hours. Paid on actuals, claimed through the IBT system.

‘Top up’ funding

‘Top up’ funding for Unfilled Guaranteed Hours

The purpose is to support providers as they transition the workforce to guaranteed hours. It is recognised that providers may have costs relating to paying workers for guaranteed hours and not being able to bill funders where care workers haven’t been assigned a client and it is agreed between the provider and the worker that this is temporary and not to alter the guaranteed hours.

Example of a ‘top up’ scenario

An example of this is where a client has moved to another town and the provider has not been able to fill that time with replacement work on an ongoing basis but the provider and the support worker do not want to reduce the guaranteed hours as it is anticipated that this is a temporary shortfall in hours that will be addressed as demand picks up.

How much funding is available for ‘top ups’

$8.3 million p.a. is available for this purpose. A fixed quarterly payment will be made to providers, reducing over the 5 quarters. A proportion of the $8.3 million will be held by the Ministry (in case of evidence-based ‘no disadvantage’ claims). Payments will be made proportional to providers’ IBT Part A claims from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016.

Employee attendance at workshops

All providers will be eligible to claim the amount of $75 per qualifying employee attending a chosen workshop session. This will be distributed as a one-off payment regardless of how many sessions a worker attends.

Excluded workers

Ministry-funded Family Carers

The policy excludes Ministry-funded Family Funded Carers as these carers are covered by the Family Funded Care programme, and are paid at the minimum wage as per the relevant Act. DHB-funded Family Carers, however, are included.

Employees funded through individualised funding

Staff funded through individualised funding are excluded.