The $245.6 million Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee is set to provide vulnerable casual or insecure job workers with a safety net to take time off when they’re sick or need to care for loved ones.
Around one in five casual and contract workers work more than one job, with many without access to sick and carer’s pay.
Prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic many casual and contract workers had to choose between working or taking an unpaid sick day.
“When people have nothing to fall back on, they make a choice between the safety of their workmates and feeding their family,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“The last two years have shown just how difficult that choice can be for casual workers – so we’re doing what we can to make sure it’s a choice they don’t have to make.”
Now Victorian casual and contract workers are able to register for the two-year scheme and it’s expected more than 150,000 workers will be eligible for the first phase.
Eligible workers will receive up to five days a year of sick or carer’s pay at the national minimum wage.
As part of the first phase of the scheme workers from hospitality, food trade, retail, and aged care and disability care can all apply.