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Fair Work Commission issues changes to impact horticultural industry

Business Management

Employers will be required to give employees an annual wage arrangement in writing, as part of updates to a number of awards by the Fair Work Commission recently.

The updates were made as part of the four-yearly review of modern awards, and affect the Horticulture Award 2010.

A number of other awards were also updated, all which feature employees working largely variable hours.

For employers, the key details of the updates are as follows:

  • The changes affect full-time employees who are paid an annual wage under the Horticultural Award 2010.
  • Employers need to record the annual wage arrangement in writing and give their employees a copy.
  • The annual wage arrangement must include the annual wage to be paid, which entitlements are included, how the wage has been worked out, and the maximum number of penalty and overtime hours an employee can work each pay period.
  • Employers will need to keep a record of start, finish and unpaid break times for their employees, and have employees sign off on these each pay cycle.
  • A ‘reconciliation’ will need to be completed every 12 months and upon termination, which involves calculating how much the worker would have been paid if they were paid on an hourly basis according to the award. Any shortfall between the two would then have to be paid within 14 days.

Employers need to make sure their employees’ annual wage is high enough to cover the award entitlements that are included in the arrangement.

An employee’s annual wage cannot be less than what they would’ve been paid over the year if they were paid all of their award entitlements for their work.

The changes come into effect on 1 March. For example, if an employee’s fortnightly pay starts on Thursday, 27 February 2020, these new rules won’t start until Thursday, 12 March 2020.

Click here for more information.

Fair Work Hort Award

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