Casual workers to get sick leave under new Victorian government trial

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Casual workers to get sick leave under new Victorian government trial

Image by Ali Yahya
Words by Tom Parker

Great news!

The year 2020 has lumped many of us into awkward and uncomfortable situations where we are being forced to choose between the necessity of a day’s pay and our own health. Never has there been more job insecurity and instability. Never has the privilege of having work and being able to work been held in such high regard.

As such, the Victorian government is introducing something that no other government has – a new trial scheme that will provide up to five days of sick and carer’s leave at the national minimum wage for casual workers in priority industries.

The start date of the Secure Work Pilot Scheme is still TBA, but once it is up and running, the two-year trial will offer casual workers sick pay when they’re unwell, and carer’s pay when these workers need to take time to look after someone they love.

Most importantly, the scheme aims to dissolve the quandary one faces when choosing between their own health and safety, and putting food on the table for their family.

It is expected the pilot will cover those working in industries of high casualisation, such as cleaners, hospitality staff, security guards, supermarket workers and aged care staff, and will roll out in two phases over two years. To determine the workers eligible for the scheme, a consultation process will be conducted including workers, industry and unions. 

For those in a position to claim the Secure Work Pilot Scheme, they will be able to pre-register for it, providing their contact details and information about their employment so that applications can be fast-tracked if they need to apply for payments.

Find out more about pilot scheme here.

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