The Victorian Government has introduced a Sick Pay Guarantee Scheme for casual and self-employed workers in specified occupations. The scheme provides up to five days a year of sick or carer’s pay at the National Minimum Wage and is being funded by the Government for a two-year trial period.
Which occupations does the scheme cover?
Lists of eligible occupations are included in Appendix 1 of the Program Guidelines. The eligible occupations fall within the following job types:
- hospitality workers
- food preparation assistants
- food trades workers
- sales support workers
- sales assistants
- other labourers who work in supermarket supply chains
- aged and disability carers
- cleaners and laundry workers
- security officers and guards
The Program Guidelines state that more eligible occupations will be added at a later date.
What are the eligibility criteria?
To be eligible for the Sick Pay Guarantee, a person must meet all these criteria:
- be 15 years or over
- be a casual employee or a self-employed worker with no other employees (such as a sole trader or an independent contractor)
- have no entitlement to paid personal, sick or carer’s leave in any job
- work physically in Victoria
- have the right to work in Australia
- work in an eligible occupation
- on average, work at least 7.6 hours per week in an eligible occupation(s).
Is evidence required to be provided by eligible workers?
Yes. Evidence required is found on the application page of the Sick Pay Guarantee website.
How do eligible workers make a claim?
Eligible workers can make a claim directly to the Victorian Government, through its Sick Pay Guarantee website. Claims cannot be made through employers.
How much is the payment and how are payments made to eligible workers?
The scheme provides up to five days a year of sick or carer’s pay at the National Minimum Wage (currently $20.33 per hour).
The Victorian Government will make payments directly to eligible workers.
What happens after the two-year trial period?
When the scheme was first announced, the Victorian Government indicated that a levy may be imposed on businesses at the conclusion of the trial period to fund an ongoing scheme.
At this stage, no further information is known about what will happen after the two-year trial period.
The Sick Pay Guarantee website has an FAQ section.