3 Apr 2014

Pay for travel between jobs finally on table

1:17 pm on 3 April 2014

The Government has announced it will begin negotiations with unions and industry about paying home and community support workers while they're travelling between jobs.

Currently some home support workers are unpaid while they travel between homes - and in rural areas the distances can be significant. The Service and Food Workers Union argues the situation is unaceptable.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says that at the moment some workers are paid for in-between travel time while others are not. He says the negotiations will try to provide greater consistency throughout the country and the Government will contribute to the cost of the settlement.

Rural Women's executive officer, Noeline Holt, says they've argued for years that the workers should be paid and they're thrilled that the matter is now on the table.

"If I walk down to Parliament I'm paid," she says. "But if a home care worker goes from one job to another they're not."

The chief executive of the home support provider Access Homehealth, Graeme Titcombe, says the negotiations could benefit both employees and help providers in the retention of support workers.