Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Questions over Victoria’s sick pay guarantee

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) says the Victorian government’s announcement of a two-year pilot guaranteeing sick pay for casual workers, whilst well intentioned, poses more questions than answers.

“We acknowledge the Victorian Government’s efforts to provide support to workers who are unwell. However, we are concerned about the ongoing funding of the scheme beyond the two-year pilot, with no details provided about the government’s plans,” says ARA CEO Paul Zahra.

“Casuals already receive a loading paid by employers to cover sick leave and holiday pay. This additional payment could dis-incentivise workers to take the step towards permanent employment – which is the ultimate aim of many employers, particularly in a skills crisis like the one we are currently experiencing.

“It may, unfortunately, also encourage more absenteeism which was a huge challenge through the JobKeeper stage of the pandemic that employers had to contend with.

“The ARA is seeking information and assurances from the Victorian government about the new scheme and its administration details. We are also keen to ensure genuine industry consultation through this pilot prior to any permanent adoption.”

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