Govt coy on tab for Vic casual sick pay

Victoria's government remains tight-lipped on how its trial of sick pay for casual workers would be funded if it becomes a fully fledged scheme.

Almost ten months into a $245 million two-year trial, Victoria's sick pay guarantee has paid out about $19 million and received more than 80,000 claims from casual and contract workers without such entitlements.

Eligible casual and contract workers in the state were able to claim five days of paid sick leave a year from March 2022 under the Australian-first pilot program, doled out at the national minimum wage.

While 150,000 workers were expected to be covered across sectors including hospitality, cleaning, retail and care, only 55,000 have registered so far.

Employment Minister Ben Carroll said the state government was open to expanding eligibility, but noted the scheme was initially aimed at the most vulnerable workers.

"There certainly is scope to expand the scheme," he told reporters at a retail store in Fitzroy on Thursday.

"We have invested between $200 and $250 million in the scheme. A lot of that goes towards the infrastructure we have put behind the scheme to make it ... simple and easy."

When the pilot program was first mooted in 2020, Premier Daniel Andrews said a "modest" industry levy would be likely if it became permanent, to the dismay of business groups, the state opposition and then federal coalition government.

Mr Carroll said the Andrews government was working through a long-term solution to funding the scheme beyond March 2024, and would not rule in or out a tax or levy on businesses.

"We will make all of those assessments ... at the end of the trial," he said.

"I don't want to pre-empt anything except to say we're at the halfway mark, the data is very strong, it's been well resourced, well funded ... and we'll have more to say in another 12 months when the scheme gets to its final months."

About one million Victorians have no paid sick leave entitlement, Mr Carroll said.