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Thousands of Victorian casual workers claim sick leave in new trial

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More than 55,000 casual workers in Victoria are reaping the rewards of sick leave, despite not having signed a full-time contract.

The Victorian Government has paid out 80,000 claims from 55,000 workers as part of a new trial, in which workers are compensated for missing work to care for themselves or a loved one.

The workers are able to access up to 38 hours of sick and carer's pay each year, paid at the national minimum wage.

READ MORE: Six killed on Victorian roads in 26 hours in 'awful' start to 2023

The $245.7 million trial is designed to stop workers being forced to choose between their health and a day's pay, aiming to reduce workplace illnesses and injuries to keep businesses safer and more productive, Employment Minister Ben Carroll has explained.

"Workers shouldn't feel forced to go to work sick because they can't afford to miss a day's pay," he said.

The trial, which is running for two years, is only available to some industries so far, with most people involved working in retail, hospitality and aged and disability care.

The government has not ruled out expanding the trial to more workforces.

Casual and self-employed contract workers can check their eligibility and sign up to the trial via the Service Victoria app or at vic.gov.au/sickpayguarantee.



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