This week in Payroll, we take a look at deeper access to yearly sick pay for the casual workers of Victoria, Australia; Record payroll registered employees in the United Kingdom; and the rejection of a National Minimum wage for the workforces of the Philippines.
Casual hospitality workers in Victoria are now entitled to yearly sick pay.
The Victorian Government has launched the “Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee” scheme which will run for a two-year trial period with hopes to become a permanent fixture in the years following. Under this new scheme, casual workers can now access the Sick Pay Guarantee when they are hurt or sick or need to take time off to take care of immediate family or household members in need.
The scheme doesn’t currently support the full scope of Casual Workers in Victoria, and currently coverage is for occupations in deemed “highly insecure industries” that typically do not have access to paid leave. Some of the current groups included in the first phase are hospitality workers, food trades workers, supermarkets and supply chain, retail and sales assistants, disability care workers, cleaners, laundry workers and security guards.
Victoria’s response to this scheme has been mixed so far, but there is hope that this trial will yield data to strengthen the argument of future access to support for workers taking on these flexible, yet vital, positions.
Record Numbers of UJ workers on Payroll
UK Payroll numbers rise to 29.7 million, surpassing previous numbers for most recorded payrolls in the history of the UK. The estimated unemployment levels have decreased to numbers well below pre-pandemic numbers. As another testament to an improving economy, the employment rate is above 75% with unemployment chiming in at 3.9 for citizens 16+.
While the demand for work is still largely high, attention is on the numbers of citizens without a job who are not looking for employment – which has been on the rise.
There is concern that even with a great deal of optimism from record numbers surrounding employment, that inflation rates may continue to challenge employees’ ability to keep above cost of living.
Minimum Wage Proposal opposed by Economic Cluster
Concerns that determining a National Minimum wage in the Philippines could worsen inequality throughout the territories left the country’s Economic Cluster members in opposition.
Currently, there is a system of regional wages that varies depending on the level of need depending on the area of the Philippines where employment is being sought. The proposal for a national minimum wage came into discussion during COVID-19 challenges by labor groups of the county.
Great concern over inflation, especially among recent petroleum hikes, are among many of the feared impacts of settling on a National minimum wage. They will reconvene at to discuss further near the end of April this year.
United Kingdom Payroll