Stay at home if you are sick, Victoria state tells employees
More than AUD$22 million (USD$14.6 million) has been paid out to causal and contract employees by the Australian state of Victoria since May 2022 to support more than 93,000 claims for sick and carer’s pay.
According to Colin Brooks, Victoria’s Minister for Multicultural Affairs, 60,000 Victorians have signed up to the Sick Pay Guarantee scheme, which provides a safety net for vulnerable employees who need to take time off because they are sick or caring for loved ones.
Eligible causal and contract employees without sick leave entitlements can access up to 38 hours a year of sick and carer’s pay through the scheme, paid at the national minimum wage.
Through the scheme, the Victorian government aims to reduce workplace illnesses and keep businesses safer and more productive. 41% of employees surveyed that they would have gone to work unwell if they had not registered for the scheme, which is an AUD$245.7 million (US$220 million pilot that will be funded by the national government until March 2024.
READ: Australia moves to provide casual workers with sick leave
Colin Brooks, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, said, “Casual and contract workers are telling us that when given a choice – a proper choice – they will choose to stay home and recover when they’re sick. We’ve already supported workers when they need it most – with more than one million hours of sick and carer’s pay. This scheme is protecting more and more Victorians and giving them the support they need when they’re sick or caring for a loved one.”