Agriculture casual workers eligible to take sick leave

VFF Members will need to be aware that from 1 July 2023 casual workers will be able to claim up to 38 hours per year in sick leave or carers leave payments through the Victorian Government’s sick pay guarantee.

VFF remains opposed to the scheme as casual workers are paid casual loadings that are payable in lieu of sick leave and other leave loadings. The scheme does not provide notification for employers that their casual employees have applied for the scheme; an employer may only find out when their casual employee advises them that they are taking sick leave (or carers leave) or if they are contacted as part of a scheme audit. The payment of sick leave for casuals, the cost of which is borne by Victorian taxpayers, will be payable at the national minimum wage of $23.23 per hour. Workers will be eligible for twelve months from the time that they sign up for the scheme.

A list of the occupations that are eligible for the scheme can be found here.

VFF considers there are a range much more important matters that require Government funding than the payment of leave entitlements to casuals and that these matters should rightfully be dealt with under Commonwealth industrial relations legislation. Victorian taxpayers should also not be burdened with the cost of casual sick pay when employers are already paying casual loadings.