The Australian state of Victoria Monday revealed that over 60,000 individuals signed up for its pilot Sick Pay Guarantee scheme since its launch on March 14, 2022. To date, the state has paid out over one million hours of sick and carer’s pay.
The scheme is a two year test program that “provides eligible casual and contract workers with a guarantee they will receive sick pay when they can’t go to work,” because they or a family member are sick. According to a survey by the Victoria government, 41 percent of workers said they would have gone to work while sick if they did not have access to the program.
Multicultural Affairs Minister Colin Brooks commented:
We’ve already supported workers when they need it most – with more than one million hours of sick and carers’ 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.
The scheme allows for eligible individuals to take 38 hours a year of sick and carer’s pay at the national minimum wage. To be eligible, workers of at least 15 years of age must work 7.6 hours a week on average and lack access to existing sick leave programs. Covered jobs include hospitality, security and aged and disability care. These jobs, and other casual and contract workers, are not entitled to paid sick leave under the Fair Work Act.
Currently, Victoria is the only state with this scheme.