- The Guardian
- Issue #1999
Photo: Robert Couse-Baker (CC BY 2.0)
This morning’s launch of the Sick Pay Guarantee scheme in Victoria has been warmly welcomed by the United Workers’ Union (UWU).
The scheme which guarantees five days’ leave paid at minimum wage will go a long way to bolstering the financial security for casual workers and preventing workplace transmission of COVID-19 and other transmissible diseases.
UWU represents many insecure workers across a host of industries, including hospitality, security, and cleaning, that will be covered by the pilot.
Hospitality, for instance, currently has a casualised workforce of around 80 per cent, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
UWU National Secretary Tim Kennedy said he was certain that the scheme would be a success and called on other jurisdictions to follow suit.
“If the COVID pandemic has shown us anything, it is that casual, precarious and insecure work has ramifications for the health of the whole community,” Mr Kennedy said.
“I commend the Andrews government for listening to the concerns put to them by workers and the union and call on the federal government and other state governments to consider a similar program.
“Scott Morrison, for example, could amend Australia’s National Employment Standards to ensure ten days’ universal paid sick leave for every worker.
“Victoria may be emerging out of the current COVID wave, but new cases are still tracking in the thousands and who knows what’s next?
“Let’s not squander the opportunity to make practical and positive change to ensure a better and more resilient Australia that looks after the very workers who turned up at risk to themselves and their families over the last two years.”