The Victorian government will support casual public sector employees who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic with fortnightly payments, according to treasurer Tim Pallas.
Pallas on Wednesday noted these workers — such as those working in the sporting and cultural sectors — could not apply for the federal government’s JobKeeper initiative.
He said the state government planned to “fix that gap” by ensuring roughly 3000 workers receive fortnightly payments of $1500 before tax. The payments would be backdated to April 27 and would conclude on September 30.
The workers must agree to be redeployed to other high-demand roles in order to receive the payment, which Pallas said would allow staff to get the help they need, while also ensuring the public receives the crucial services they need.
Unlike JobKeeper, the workers would be eligible for the payment regardless of their length of service, their age, or their citizenship. Council workers, however, would not be eligible for the payments.
The government has also extended its Jobs and Skills Exchange program to all public sector workers. Casual workers who participate in the program would be able to pick up additional work without jeopardising their fortnightly payments, Pallas said.
Pallas said the initiative was part of the government’s public sector IR Framework, which was “urgently convened” to ensure public sector staff receive protection during the pandemic.
A Specialist Workforce Advisory Group comprised of government and union representatives has been established to oversee the implementation of the IR Framework.