More Victorian casual workers can now access paid sick leave.
The Victorian Government has increased the scheme to cover 400 more jobs, giving eligible staff access to 38 hours of sick and carer’s pay per year.
Victoria is the first Australian state to guarantee paid sick leave for casual workers.
Which Victorian casual workers are eligible?
Casual, contract, and self-employed workers across a range of industries like retail, childcare, and ride-sharing can access the leave.
They must be at least 15 years old, work a minimum of 7.6 hours per week on average, and not already have access to paid sick entitlements at another job.
The Government says over 76,000 workers have accessed 1.8 million hours of paid leave since it launched the scheme in 2022.
Funding the casual worker payment
The government covers sick leave under the program. Employers do not have to pay it. The payment is a flat hourly rate of $23.23 – the national minimum wage.
Unlike employer-paid sick leave, unclaimed hours don’t carry over year-by-year.
The benefits will be available until March 2025.
Victorian Employment Minister Ben Carroll said: “People shouldn’t be forced to choose between going to work sick or putting food on the table”.
The Victorian Opposition said businesses could suffer if new taxes fund the program.
Shadow Minister for Employment, Bridget Vallence, said: “The Andrews Government has refused to rule out slugging businesses with another job-destroying tax… Victoria is broke and it’s not fair to expect Victorians to pick up the tab.”