In-between travel payments

Standard travel (0 to 15 km trip)

Travel calculations for standard trips are based on averages, and the calculations are set out in law. The average standard travel time for support workers traveling per trip between clients has been calculated at 8.5 minutes.

After unions lobbying, the Government recently changed the funding for this payment from the minimum wage ($20/hour) to your NORMAL HOURLY RATE. It includes an allowance for time from your car to the door of the client’s home.  

Providers have informed us that they do not currently have the systems in place to apply this increase. In the meantime, they will apply the minimum hourly support worker rate (L1) of $21.50.

Once systems have been properly developed, employers will back pay those who are entitled to it  to July 1 2021 – sometime around October or November 2021. This also applies to exceptional travel (see below).

The average standard distance per trip that support workers travel between clients has been calculated at 3.7 kilometres.  This has been multiplied by 58.5 cents per kilometre. This is the basis on which your payment for travel costs has been calculated.

So what will you get paid from 1 July? For each client visit up to 15 km one way (except for the first visit each day), you will receive the following payments from 1 July 2021:

  Standard Travel – Employee paid:
$3.05 (taxed) for that visit.
This is based on the minimum hourly rate ($21.50).  
$2.16 (not taxed) for that visit.

Exceptional Travel (a more than 15km trip)

‘Exceptional travel’ is where you have to travel a distance more than 15km, you will be paid for the distance and time spent in travel at $21.50/hour and 58.5 cents/km. 

This payment for Exceptional Travel will apply to first visits each day, as well as travel home from last visit each day or in-between clients throughout each day – as long as the distance is greater than 15km. 

You do not need to log or report your Exceptional Travel (or any travel distances). We recommend you do keep a log to help fix problems. It is very important that your roster is kept up to date and accurate, as this is where the travel time calculations are taken from.

For any visit which involves Exceptional Travel you will get paid the following: from 1 April 2021:

  Exceptional Travel – Employee Paid:
Travel time Part of $21.50, depending on how many minutes you traveled to that client. e.g. a full hour’s travel = $21.50 (taxed) or half hour traveled = $10.75 (taxed).
58.5 cents for each km traveled for trips over 15km (not taxed).

From 1 July, these are the rates that should apply for time traveled and will be backdated to 1 July once providers have developed systems to apply them.

Current Hourly Rate Standard Travel Payment Exceptional Travel Payment
L1  $21.50 $3.05 per visit   $21.50 per hr
L2 $23 $3.26 per visit $23 per hr
L3  $25 $3.54 per visit $25 per hr
L4  $27 $3.83 per visit $27 per hr
L4b $26 (no L4 qual 12 years service after 1 July 2017)   $3.68 per visit $26 per hr

What else should you do to ensure you get the money you deserve and are owed? Join the union campaign to increase travel payments. Your unions have met with Government, providers, DHB’s, ACC, and the MoH, raising the financial disadvantage for support workers by the way travel payments currently work.

How can you get involved? Record all your travel (time, petrol use) over a fortnight and compare this to the payment in your payslip for that period. Use this information to talk with your local MP about why there needs to be an increase in funding. Talk with your workmates at your next local union meeting about what else you can do.

For more information call E tū 0800 186 466 (0800 1 UNION).