The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the Victorian Government’s announcement of a two-year pilot guaranteeing sick pay for casual workers, whilst well intentioned, poses more questions than answers.
“We acknowledge the Victorian Government’s efforts to provide support to workers who are unwell. However, we are concerned about the ongoing funding of the scheme beyond the two-year pilot, with no details provided about the government’s plans,” ARA CEO Paul Zahra said.
“Casuals already receive a loading paid by employers to cover sick leave and holiday pay. This additional payment could dis-incentivise workers to take the step towards permanent employment – which is the ultimate aim of many employers, particularly in a skills crisis like the one we are currently experiencing. It may, unfortunately, also encourage more absenteeism which was a huge challenge through the JobKeeper stage of the pandemic that employers had to contend with.
“The ARA is seeking information and assurances from the Victorian Government about the new scheme and its administration details. We are also keen to ensure genuine industry consultation through this pilot prior to any permanent adoption.”
ARA Media Team
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About us: The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the oldest, largest and most diverse national retail body, representing a $360bn sector which employs 1.3 million Australians and is the largest private sector employer in the country. As Australia’s peak retail body, representing more than 100,000 retail shop fronts and online stores, the ARA informs, advocates, educates, protects and unifies our independent, national and international retail community. To learn more about ARA’s exclusive member benefits and more, visit retail.org.au