Mathew Reiman, a Senior Associate in our Workplace Relations team, summarises some of the frequently asked questions from employers since the Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee was announced on 14 March 2022.
Who is eligible to claim the Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee?
The Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee will apply to nine categories of workers with future categories to be added by the Victorian Government and enables casual employees to access up to five days of paid personal leave each year. Employees will be able to claim personal leave for their own illness or injury or when they need to care for a family or household member who is suffering from an illness or injury as well.
What are my obligations as an employer?
Employees will be required to claim a minimum of three hours and a maximum of 12 hours for each day of the paid personal leave. The good news for employers is that this scheme involves no direct payment being made by employers to casual employees. Casual employees will instead be able to access the scheme directly through the Victorian Government and payments will be made at the minimum wage from the Government directly into the bank accounts of eligible employees.
Is there anything employers should consider doing differently?
Now that the scheme is in place, there are two things that we recommend that employers can start doing to deal with the new scheme.
- Firstly, if you don’t have a system in place to record the reasons why your casual employees aren’t attending work, we would recommend you put one in place as soon as possible. The Department of Jobs when administering the scheme can ask employers for details about the eligibility and claims made by particular employees, so it’ll be good to be prepared with that information if you are asked.
- Since casual employees have not traditionally been able to access paid personal leave, they may not be aware that the scheme is now in effect. There are benefits that flow to you as an employer if you have your ill or injured employees taking that leave and ensuring that they aren’t bringing their illnesses to work and creating a risk to health and safety for your other employees.