About the program
The Sick Pay Guarantee is an Australian-first initiative giving Victorian casual and contract workers in certain jobs up to 38 hours a year of sick and carer’s pay. Payments are made at the national minimum wage.
The Sick Pay Guarantee is a pilot program, fully funded by the Victorian Government. It will run for three years from 14 March 2022 until 13 March 2025.
About casual and contract workers
The Sick Pay Guarantee is for eligible casual and contract workers who do not have paid annual, personal, sick or carer’s leave entitlements in any job.
About casual workers
A person is a casual worker if they accept a job offer from an employer knowing that there is no firm advance commitment to ongoing work with an agreed pattern of work.
Specifically, under the Fair Work Act, a person is a casual worker if:
- they are offered a job
- the offer does not include a firm advance commitment that the work will continue indefinitely with an agreed pattern of work
- they accept the offer knowing that there is no firm advance commitment and become an employee.
About contract workers
Contract workers provide services under a contract and can work for more than one client at a time. Contract workers are also called self-employed workers, independent contractors, contractors or subcontractors.
The difference between casual and contract workers
Contractors have different rights and obligations to casual employees. This is because they provide services to another person or business, as opposed to being employed by that person or business.
How eligible jobs were chosen for inclusion in the Sick Pay Guarantee
The Sick Pay Guarantee pilot focuses on the industries with some of the highest rates of casual and contract workers who do not have access to sick pay, whose work hours are often unpredictable and low paid, and where people who are more likely to experience hardship are overrepresented, such as people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, women and young people.
How to share your experience of insecure work
When evaluating this pilot program, it is important to understand workers’ and employers’ experience of insecure work and the Sick Pay Guarantee.
Reviewed 19 September 2023