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More casual workers granted sick pay access in Victoria

The Andrews Labor Government is broadening the scope of sick and carer’s pay to encompass a higher number of casual and contract employees.

This initiative not only extends coverage under the Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee but also prolongs the trial period until March 2025.

Minister for Employment Ben Carroll has announced that over 400 fresh positions now qualify for the pioneering Sick Pay Guarantee, a measure that permits thousands of individuals engaged in casual and contract work to avail up to 38 hours of sick and carer’s pay annually.

Casual, contract, and self-employed laborers including community support workers, rideshare drivers, arts personnel, early childhood educators, fitness trainers, tourism professionals, factory staff, agricultural workers, and hairstylists can assess their eligibility and enroll in the program immediately.

Those newly eligible can claim sick and carer’s pay from the moment they register, while workers who met the criteria in the pilot’s initial phase gain an additional year of coverage.

This groundbreaking Australian-first initiative, valued at $245.7 million, strives to diminish workplace illnesses and injuries, fostering both a safer work environment and enhanced productivity.

Since its launch in March 2022, over 76,000 casual and contract workers have enlisted in the pilot. During this period, the Sick Pay Guarantee has provided compensation for more than 1.8 million hours of sick and carer’s pay, granting workers the financial stability to take time off when unwell or required to care for loved ones.

Eligibility confirmation and enrollment can be accomplished online at vic.gov.au/sickpayguarantee or via the Service Victoria app. Assistance in signing up and accessing the program is also accessible through Neighbourhood Houses. Visit www.nhvic.org.au to locate a participating Neighbourhood House.

The Sick Pay Guarantee website offers information in 19 languages. Those needing assistance can speak with an interpreter by dialing the Translating and Interpreting Service at 131 450 and requesting the Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee hotline.

Minister for Employment Ben Carroll commented, “No one should be compelled to make the tough choice between going to work while ill or providing for their family. We are proud to expand the Sick Pay Guarantee, recognizing its crucial role in supporting Victorians.”

He further emphasized, “Insecure work has serious consequences, and ensuring people have the support and certainty to stay home and recover when they are unwell or caring for a loved one is of utmost importance.”

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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