Urgent support needed for casual workers

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath is calling on the Andrews Labor Government to immediately extend eligibility for the $250 Power Saving Bonus to casual employees.

“Casual workers have been disproportionally affected by Victoria’s five lockdowns,” said Ms Bath.

“Casual workers require support from the State Government – they’ve lost more income than any other employee group through the continual forced closure of small business in Victoria.

“With as many as 500,000 Victorians facing further days without work many are struggling.

“The casual work force is predominately made up of women, many who have dependent children, including tertiary students who are struggling to support themselves while completing their higher education.”

Ms Bath, along with her Nationals colleagues is calling on the Andrews Government to step up and help those hurting the most from loss of work due to the current restrictions.

“There is a great need in our local community for assistance – people are doing it tough at the moment, especially those in casual work,” she said.

“Worried about their casual staff, my office has been inundated with calls from small businesses owners, desperately seeking support.

“There is no such thing as ‘non-essential’ work; every hour of every shift of every job that Victorians work is absolutely essential to them and those who depend on that wage.

“The Andrews Government must stop continually targeting our casual workforce and treating them second class workers.

“Closing the same small businesses and taking away income from the same people is unjust and unfair – Daniel Andrews must start treating all workers equally, they all matter regardless of their industry or work status.

“With majority of casual workers again confined to their homes, they can’t confidently budget to keep their lights on or homes heated as they navigate their way through another winter lockdown.

“A $250 power saving bonus payment would provide some relief and allow the average household to meet its energy bills for up to six weeks, providing some of our most vulnerable Victorians with a little financial relief.

“The Andrews Government should immediately extend the $250 Power Saving Bonus to casual workers who have lost employment due to the current state-wide lockdown.”