In-between travel legislation makes its way through Parliament
For PSA delegate Jenny Goodman, a legal case she took against her employer has turned into a new law that is currently going through Parliament to implement a sector-wide settlement that benefits more than 20,000 home support workers across the country.
“It’s quite overwhelming to think that my one action has led to it being resolved without going to court,” Jenny told Working Life.
The Home and Community Support (Payment for Travel Between Clients) Settlement Bill ensures that people who support elderly and disabled people in their homes are paid for the time they travel between clients’ houses and reimbursed for the costs of using their own vehicles.
“It’s a big difference financially,” said Jenny, “some people are getting up to $300 gross extra a fortnight.” That sort of money makes a big difference when you’re earning near to the minimum wage.
The settlement hasn’t only benefited union members – all workers in the sector have received the benefits of the hard work by Jenny and her fellow PSA members.
Jenny is glad that politicians have taken the issue seriously, but says this isn’t the end of the battle for justice for home support workers.
“They need to keep looking at the funding of the whole aged-care sector,” she says, “to make working in the sector a viable proposition.”