[Australia] Victoria’s casual workers will be entitled to sick leave

[Australia] Victoria’s casual workers will be entitled to sick leave
15 Mar 2022

In a first for Australia, casual workers in Victoria will be entitled to sick leave, meaning they no longer have to choose between losing money or attending work while ill, Daily Mail reports.

The Victorian Government announced the $245.6 million scheme on March 14. It will help support workers taking time off work if they are sick or visiting loved ones who need care. 

Eligible casual and contract workers will receive five days of paid sick leave a year under the trial, paid at the annual national minimum wage of $20.33 an hour.

The initiative will be funded by the Andrew's Labor government over two years and workers may register themselves for the two-year pilot program from Monday. 

About 150,000 workers in the hospitality, security, retail, cleaning, aged and disability care sectors will be included in its first phase.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the COVID-19 pandemic had highlighted the difficult choice casual workers have had to make between feeding their family and looking after the health of themselves, their families and their workmates.

“The pandemic has exposed things that are just wrong, and we have to do more, and we have to do better,” he told reporters yesterday.

”'Let's be clear: insecure work is toxic. It's not just toxic in our state, it's a problem across the whole country.”

The state government said that the scheme is expected to reduce workplace injuries and illness, improve productivity and lead to lower staff turnover rates.

The United Workers Union (UWU) represents many insecure workers covered by the pilot program, it called on other states to follow Victoria's lead.

“If the COVID pandemic has shown us anything, it is that casual, precarious and insecure work has ramifications for the health of the whole community,” UWU National Secretary Tim Kennedy said.

“I commend the Andrews government for listening to the concerns put to them by workers and the union and call on the federal government and other state governments to consider a similar program.”

Mr Kennedy urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to amend the National Employment Standards to ensure 10 days of paid sick leave for all workers.

'Around one in five casual and contract workers work more than one job to earn a living; many without access to sick and carer's pay,' the state government said. 


Source: Daily Mail

(Quotes via original reporting)

In a first for Australia, casual workers in Victoria will be entitled to sick leave, meaning they no longer have to choose between losing money or attending work while ill, Daily Mail reports.

The Victorian Government announced the $245.6 million scheme on March 14. It will help support workers taking time off work if they are sick or visiting loved ones who need care. 

Eligible casual and contract workers will receive five days of paid sick leave a year under the trial, paid at the annual national minimum wage of $20.33 an hour.

The initiative will be funded by the Andrew's Labor government over two years and workers may register themselves for the two-year pilot program from Monday. 

About 150,000 workers in the hospitality, security, retail, cleaning, aged and disability care sectors will be included in its first phase.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the COVID-19 pandemic had highlighted the difficult choice casual workers have had to make between feeding their family and looking after the health of themselves, their families and their workmates.

“The pandemic has exposed things that are just wrong, and we have to do more, and we have to do better,” he told reporters yesterday.

”'Let's be clear: insecure work is toxic. It's not just toxic in our state, it's a problem across the whole country.”

The state government said that the scheme is expected to reduce workplace injuries and illness, improve productivity and lead to lower staff turnover rates.

The United Workers Union (UWU) represents many insecure workers covered by the pilot program, it called on other states to follow Victoria's lead.

“If the COVID pandemic has shown us anything, it is that casual, precarious and insecure work has ramifications for the health of the whole community,” UWU National Secretary Tim Kennedy said.

“I commend the Andrews government for listening to the concerns put to them by workers and the union and call on the federal government and other state governments to consider a similar program.”

Mr Kennedy urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to amend the National Employment Standards to ensure 10 days of paid sick leave for all workers.

'Around one in five casual and contract workers work more than one job to earn a living; many without access to sick and carer's pay,' the state government said. 


Source: Daily Mail

(Quotes via original reporting)

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