30,000 casual workers in Victoria now have access to paid sick leave, with the state government encouraging people to check their eligibility.
More than 30,000 people have now signed up to the state government’s Sick Pay Guarantee program.
Eligible workers – casual and self-employed contract workers who do not have access to any sick and carer’s pay – are covered from the day they sign up to the program and can claim up to 38 hours a year of sick and carer’s pay.
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The state government is fully funding the scheme over the first two years, which they say will reduce workplace injuries and illness, improve productivity and lower staff turnover. Only four months after the Australian-first initiative was launched, more than $6 million has been paid to thousands of workers in frontline jobs like hospitality, retail and aged care.
More than 21% of those now registered work in regional Victoria and there has been strong uptake among carers, aides and security workers, as well as hospitality workers and cleaners. It is estimated that more than 150,000 Victorian workers are eligible in this first phase of the pilot.
“Victoria is the only state in Australia that is supporting casual and contract workers in this way – no one should have to choose their health and a day’s pay,” employment minister Jaala Pulford said.
“This is about supporting casual workers to take the time the need to get well or care for a loved one.”
Check your eligibility here.