20 July 2022
Victorians in Narre Warren South who work in casual or other insecure jobs will no longer be forced to choose between a day’s pay and looking after their health, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee.
An Australian-first, the $245.6 million scheme will transform casual and contract work in Victoria by providing vulnerable workers the safety net they need to take time off when they‘re sick or need to care for loved ones.
So far 45,000 eligible workers have registered for the Sick Pay Guarantee since it launched and eligible workers can now claim for an absence on the same day that they register.
The payment has been increased from 1 July 2022 to reflect the minimum wage increase. Sick Pay Guarantee claims for absences from 1 July will be paid at $21.38 per hour or $812.60 per 38 hours.
Being a casual or contract worker means not knowing when your next shift is, or working three jobs just to earn enough, with around one in five casual and contract workers working more than one job – many without access to sick or carer's leave.
It’s why the Andrews Labor Government introduced the Sick Pay Guarantee, giving casual and contact workers up to five days of sick and carer’s pay at the national minimum wage.
So thousands of workers in industries such as hospitality, aged care, security and retail, can get the cover they need to recover.
Workers are now able to register for the two-year pilot program, and it is anticipated that more than 150,000 workers will be eligible in this first phase.
Occupations included in the first phase include hospitality workers, food trades workers and preparation assistants such as chefs and kitchen hands, supermarket and supply chain workers, retail and sales assistants, aged and disability care workers, cleaners and laundry workers and security guards.
The Labor Government is fully funding the scheme over the first two years, which is expected to demonstrate a reduction in workplace injuries and illness, general productivity improvements from healthier workers, and lower staff turnover rates.
The Government will also administer the program directly to workers, minimising the impost on businesses so they can focus on economic recovery.
The Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee builds on the temporary measures implemented during the pandemic, including the COVID-19 Worker Support Payment (now the Australian Government’s Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment) and the COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment.
To find out more visit vic.gov.au/sick-pay-guarantee and to apply for a payment if you’re eligible visit service.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Member for Narre Warren South, Gary Maas MP:
“The pandemic highlighted that people were prepared to attend work when they were sick, out of necessity. The Andrews Labor Government is leading the way with this nation-first trial to ensure greater work and health security.”
“45,000 workers have already taken the opportunity to sign up to the Sick Pay Guarantee and I hope to see many, many more in our community do likewise. I encourage any eligible local casual worker to sign up so they don’t have to go to work when sick.”
“Many vulnerable and insecure workers in certain low paid industries will no longer be forced to choose between a day’s pay and looking after their health.”