Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has named one culprit for the devastating second wave hitting Victoria — workplaces. In particular, he’s blaming casualised, insecure types of work.
“Aged care, health care, big distribution centres, meatworks, cool stores, big warehouses — these workplaces are driving most of this second wave,” he said in a press conference just minutes ago.
“Insecure work, casual work, people who don’t have the shift won’t get paid, they don’t have sick leave to fall back on, is driving a lot of people to perhaps ignore … (if) they’ve got a runny nose, scratchy throat, coronavirus symptoms.
“Insecure work is no good.”
The state recorded 459 new cases overnight. It was Victoria’s deadliest 24 hours, with 10 new deaths. One of those people was a man in his 40s.
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Dan Andrews used the press conference as a chance to remind Victorians about the $300 hardship payment for people who wouldn’t normally be eligible for sick leave because of casual work.
“If you are sick, then you must get tested and must get tested quickly. Then you must stay at home and wait for your test results. Not going to work, not going shopping,” he said emphatically.
“There is the income support, if you didn‘t have sick leave to fall back on. A $300 payment available for if are you in insecure work and you’re in-between getting the test and getting the results.”
Mr Andrews explained that a $300 payment per day was more than fair for people in the gig economy.
“The $300 we think is more than one day’s pay for most people who would be in that insecure work and who would be making the decision to go to work to get paid rather than being out of pocket,” he said.
Mr Andrews claimed that “insecure work is no good” in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think we’ve … seen a structural weakness in our economy that has been very graphically exposed.
“Insecure work is no good for public health in terms of dealing with a global pandemic.”
He assured sick Victorians that they will be back to work in no time, because of Victoria’s testing blitz, as long as they do the right thing.
“There are more than 160 (testing) sites across the state,” he said.
“We are doing thousands and thousands of tests every single day, we get the results back as fast as we possibly can, around a two-day wait.
“We will support you in any way we can and we will get your result back as fast as we can also, but we just can’t have people going to work, for whatever reason, while they’ve got a runny nose, scratchy throat, headache, fever, all of the warning signs that you’ve got this virus.”
Dan Andrews left viewers with a final plea.
“Don‘t go to work, don’t go shopping, don’t leave your house,” he said.
“That’s all I ask of you. It is a simple thing. There are 10 families that are going to be burying someone in the next few days … It’s not too much to ask.”