Victorian industry groups criticize temporary workers’ sick leave guarantees

Victorian industry groups have criticized the Andrews government for not “necessary” for Australia’s first new “sick leave guarantee” system for temporary workers.

Paul Guerra, Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce, said: In a statement released on March 14th.

Victorian Labor Government announced on March 14 “Australia’s First Temporary Worker’s Sick Leave Guarantee” Under the Victorian SickPay Guarantee pilot program.

The state has invested $ 245.6 million ($ 176.9 million) under this scheme, providing temporary workers with a minimum hourly wage of $ 20.33 ($ 14.64) and 38 hours of vacation per year.

The Victoria State Government has announced that the new program will transform Victoria’s casual contract work by providing vulnerable workers with a safety net that requires them to take vacations when they need to take care of their illness or loved ones. Measures during the pandemic, including COVID-19 disaster payments and quarantine payments, which were stated to be based on previous welfare.

However, despite its goodwill, the new scheme has not received positive feedback from the Victorian Chamber of Commerce Paul Guerra’s industry group, which the Chamber of Commerce considers the pilot program “necessary”. We haven’t announced their response before, in consultation with the government.

Gera said paid leave during quarantine was “necessary and important during this pandemic to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but this is no longer an important issue.”

Australian Retailers Association (ARA) CEO Paul Zahra reiterated Guerra’s statement, “asking more questions than answers,” although the new scheme is well-intentioned.

Zahra is casual, who has already received shipments paid by employers to cover sick leave and holiday payments, and the additional payments under this scheme are “motivating workers to take a step towards full-time employment. That’s possible. This is the ultimate goal of many employers. “

He also expressed concern about plans to encourage further absenteeism during the industry’s current skills crisis due to high demand but low employment.

Absenteeism poses a “major challenge” to employers under the JobKeeper program during the pandemic JobKeeper. The employer had to pay Employees to be paid even if the staff chooses not to go to work.

Epoch Times Photo
What’s outside the Australian Government Welfare Center Centerlink in Melbourne on March 23, 2020, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned that a coronavirus pandemic would cause an economic crisis similar to a depression as a forced closure of pubs, casinos and churches. The gym, where hundreds of people lined up, started at noon on March 23rd. (Photo by William WEST / AFP) (Photo by WILLIAM WEST / AFP via Getty Images)

This scheme is currently open as a two-year pilot program, and after a two-year period, the length of the program may be indefinite or permanent.

However, the Victorian Chamber of Commerce has stated that the program should not continue beyond current limits, and if another pandemic occurs, the government will “provide appropriate plans at that time, if necessary.” ARA should be “for” genuine industry talks “before being permanently adopted.

This scheme is currently open to workers in hospitality, food preparation and delivery, sales, supermarkets, elderly care and disability, cleaning, laundry, and security.

More than 150,000 workers are expected to be eligible in the first phase of the guarantee, and the government is exploring “more work potential” as the system progresses.

“The last two years have shown how difficult that choice is for temporary workers,” said State Prime Minister Daniel Andrews.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure they are a choice we don’t need to make.”

Marina Chan


Marina Chan is based in Melbourne and focuses on Australian news. Contact her at [email protected]