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Unions welcome Victorian Government’s “sick pay guarantee”

Victorian Trades Hall Council welcomes Premier Daniel Andrews’ announcement of a two year pilot to guarantee 5 days paid at the national minimum wage, available to casual and self-employed Victorians who need sick leave or carer’s leave. 

This game-changing initiative will give thousands of workers on low incomes a degree of financial security that their casual status has hitherto deprived them of. 

Casual workers and self-employed people in select industries will be able to apply to the Victorian Government for pay that they have missed out on due to sickness or the need to care for a sick family member. 

The initiative will benefit workers by supporting them to stay home and turn down work shifts when sick without financial penalty. Businesses and communities will also benefit from less cold and flu virus transmission in and between workplaces, especially in hospitality, food service, and aged care. 

Secretary of Trades Hall Luke Hilakari said today:

“If the last two and a half years has taught us anything, it is that we have a collective responsibility to each other’s health. 

“If you are sick, staying home from work is the responsible thing to do. But the reality is that employers aren’t making that choice easy, because by employing people on casual contracts they’ve deprived thousands of us of sick leave and carers leave. 

“The Victorian Government has demonstrated real leadership, showing what Government can do to improve the lives of workers when there are problems in the job market. 

“There are huge problems with insecure work in Australia, and we desperately need creative ideas like this sick leave guarantee.

About the sick pay guarantee pilot

Two year pilot program funded by Victorian government to give eligible casual and self-employed Victorian workers payment to take time off when they are sick or need to take carers leave.

The pilot will provide 5 days a year at the National Minimum Wage. Available for both sick and carers pay.

People eligible for the first phase are casual and self employed workers in the following occupations:

  • Hospitality workers
  • Food trades and food preparation assistants
  • Supermarket workers
  • Retail and sales assistants
  • Aged care and disability workers
  • Cleaners and laundry workers
  • Security guards

Must also meet these criterial:

  • Not have access to paid sick and carer’s leave entitlements across any job
  • Be aged 15 years or older
  • Physically work in Victoria
  • Have the right to work in Australia
  • Work an average of 7.6 hours per week or more in at least one of the targeted occupations

To test test eligibility and apply, visit the www.vic.gov.au/sick-pay-guarantee

 

 

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