Tuesday, June 18, 2024

More Victorian casual workers guaranteed sick pay

The Victorian government is helping more casual and contract workers access sick and carer’s pay, increasing the number of jobs covered by the Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee and extending the pilot until March 2025.

Victorian Minister for Employment Ben Carroll says more than 400 new jobs are now eligible for the “nation-leading” Sick Pay Guarantee, giving “thousands” more workers in casual and contract jobs the opportunity to access up to 38 hours a year of sick and carer’s pay.

“People shouldn’t be forced to choose between going to work sick or putting food on the table – we’re proud to be expanding the Sick Pay Guarantee, because we know how important it is to support Victorians,” he says.

“Insecure work has terrible consequences, and we know how important it is for people to have the support and certainly they need to stay home and recover if they are sick or caring for a loved one.”

Casual, contract and self-employed workers including community support workers, taxi and rideshare drivers, arts workers, childcare and early childhood workers, fitness instructors, tourism and outdoor recreation workers, factory workers, fruit pickers and hairdressers can check their eligibility and sign up to the scheme.

Newly eligible workers can apply for sick and carer’s pay from the day they sign up, and workers who were eligible in the first phase of the pilot will benefit from an additional year of the pilot.

The $245.7 million Australian-first initiative aims to reduce workplace illnesses and injuries and keep businesses safer and more productive.

Since the pilot launched in March 2022, more than 76,000 casual and contract workers have signed up. In that time, the Sick Pay Guarantee has covered more than 1.8 million hours of sick and carer’s pay, giving workers the financial security to stay home when they’re sick or need to care for loved ones.

Workers can check their eligibility and sign up online at vic.gov.au/sickpayguarantee or in the Service Victoria app. Neighbourhood houses can also help people to sign up and access the scheme – visit www.nhvic.org.au to find a participating neighbourhood house.

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