On Monday 14 March 2022 the Victorian state government made an announcement the state will trial a scheme involving casual employees being eligible to access five days (38 hours) of paid sick and carer’s leave each year.

Under the scheme announced by Premier Daniel Andrews, casual and contract employees will be eligible for up to 5 days of sick leave at the national minimum wage currently $20.33 per hour or $772.60 per week.

The first phase of the two-year trial will be open to about 150,000 workers in hospitality, retail, aged and disability care, cleaning and laundry services, security, and the supermarket and supply chain industries.

Definitions:
Aged and disability care: providing general household assistance, emotional support, care disability carers companionship for aged and disabled persons in their own home.

These employees are now able to apply for leave via the state government’s Service Victoria website. The eligibility criteria include a casual or contract employee over 15 years of age and working more than 7.6 hours per week (and other criteria apply).

The scheme is part of a $246m Australian-first trial to tackle the “toxic” nature of insecure work commenced by the Victorian state government.

In press reporting since the announcement, Premier Andrews said any ongoing scheme would be funded by an industry levy, and the government is braced for backlash from the industry. In response, industry groups and peak employer associations have criticised the proposal and its likely impacts on business recovery since the pandemic.

This information is provided by Jobs Australia to assist Members with the introduction of the scheme, which impacts disability care services. We will provide a further update once more information becomes available about the scheme.

For more information, please contact our Workplace Relations team on 1800 331 915 (option #1).