Casual workers and those with insecure jobs in Victoria will now receive five days of sick or carer's pay under a new government-funded programme that marks the first in the whole of Australia. This programme builds on the COVID-19 Worker Support Payment and the COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment that were enforced following the outbreak of COVID-19.
The Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee is a $245.6 million scheme that covers these employees on the first phase: hospitality workers, food trades workers, preparation assistants, supermarket and supply chain workers, retail and sales assistants, aged and disability care workers, cleaners and laundry workers and security guards.
The government is expecting more than 150,000 workers to be eligible during the first phase of the project, who may now register to receive their sick or carer's pay at the national minimum wage.
"We need every worker for the recovery of our economy – the best way to do that is through secure work. This scheme will protect more Victorians and give them the support they need when they’re sick or caring for a loved one," said Workplace Safety Minister Ingrid Stitt.
The scheme is expected to reduce workplace injuries and illness, lower staff turnover rates, as well as improve general productivity of healthy workers. It is also expected to resolve the issue that one in five casual and contract workers have no access to sick and carer's pay even if they are already working more than one job to earn a living.