Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a new scheme which will see casual staff be given sick and carers leave at no cost to the employer.

The two-year trial worth $5million will see staff receive a benefit of up to $750 for five days worth of leave.

Andrews said that the coronavirus pandemic had exposed one of the biggest weaknesses in the nation’s economy as many had to choose work over their health just to put food on the table.

“What we’ve seen this year, and indeed what we see perhaps without noticing every year, is that so many workers have to choose between going to work sick or feeding their kids, paying their rent, paying the bills and surviving to next week,” he said.

The trial will be introduced in late 2021 or 2022. If proven to be successful, there will be a levy for employers in the future.