News Update 27 April 2021

In this update

Some updated information for you on current matters impacting providers

  • Vaccination roll out
  • Covid extra-ordinary expenses
  • Pay equity rates and the labour cost index

Vaccination roll out

Many thanks to Ray Finch who joined nearly 100 people for our zoom session on Friday. It was a comprehensive information and a very productive Q and A session – and thanks to others who were able to answer people’s questions and share important information. We will look to hold a similar zoom session in another 2 or 3 weeks.

Attached you will find a copy of Rays presentation and a DHB contact list. Note that the contact list is a work in progress and we will update it as further information comes to hand.

Two important takeaways for providers:

  1. Contact your NASC if they have not yet sent you a spreadsheet with client details asking for information about preferences and potential vaccine sites
  2. Contact your DHB if they have not yet requested information about your workforce or given you information about how your workforce can access the vaccine.

Use the attached contact list to contact your DHB. If contact to or from your DHB is a problem, please get in contact and we will do what we can to assist.

COVID related Extra-ordinary expenses

We are now pleased to be able to confirm that the Ministry has decided to accept what we understood to be the original criteria for claiming expenses in that the providers underlying financial position for the period involved should not be taken into account. The criteria will now be applied both retrospectively for the initial level 3 and 4 lock down period last year and going forward from there.

It is also important for us to acknowledge the persistent work of IDEA Services on this matter and their valuable assistance in assisting NZDSN to clearly articulate the issues involved with the Ministry. The precedent that was established by IDEA Services has ultimately led to the decisions by the Ministry outlined below to “revise” the criteria.

Following is the text that outlines the decision and the efforts of the Ministry to re-assess claims already received without providers having to go through the hassle of resubmitting claims. The email text below was recently sent to NZDSN and the Home and Community Association from Martin Anderson at the Ministry of Health.

“As agreed, this is to confirm our discussion re the COVID-19 related extraordinary costs. Please note that I’ve copied Graeme Titcombe to this as it is logical that he receives the same information.

All claims will be considered against the revised criteria, retrospectively and prospectively noting that claims are only available for Alert Level 3 or 4 periods. The retrospective element means that claims can be submitted for all previous AL 3 and 4 periods, and we will reassess the claims already received against the revised criteria. For clarity the revised criteria is ‘extraordinary costs minus (funds received for services not delivered plus funds received from Government subsides) equals claim amount’.

As explained we are trying to work out a way to use the data we have from claims already submitted to assess these claims against the revised criteria. Basically we trying to find a proxy for missing data. When we have a proposed approach we will run this past you and Graeme to see if it will be acceptable. We don’t want claimants to be put through another process of template completion if we can possibly avoid it.

I trust this accurately summarises our discussion.”

Pay equity rates and the Labour Cost Index (LCI) calculation

We can now confirm that the Ministry has advised us that there will be an increase to pay rates as a result of changes to the labour cost index (LCI) and the application of the formula in the pay equity legislation. The size of the increase will not be known until the LCI data for the period to June 30 is known – around September. Rather than estimate the increase the Ministry will apply the legislated rates in the uplift from July 1st and then fund a top up later (around October) based on the actual LCI, backdated to July 1st.

We are also in discussion with the Ministry to make a proportional increase to the on cost percentage rate based on legislated increases, particularly leave provisions, since the legislation took effect in 2017.

Kia tu tahi tatou
From the NZDSN team