Labour & Employment
Before employing workers or outsourcing your hiring needs to a labour hire company, it is important to understand exactly what positions need to be filled and what skills will be required to perform the roles successfully. Think about:
Skillsets are evolving to keep pace with the spread of agricultural technology (AgTech). This means that a number of your workers will need to be technologically savvy in order to operate complex machinery or analyse and act upon the data made available through IoT sensors.
Again, planning ahead is important in determining whether you need to hire a worker on a full-time, part-time or casual basis. Fair Work Australia provides the following definitions:
Seasonal farm workers are critical to harvest and play a pivotal role in the Australian horticultural industry, especially during peak periods when many growers rely on the assistance of labour hire contractors to source and administer their workforce needs. With recent labour figures indicating full employment in Victoria and NSW, labour shortfalls could threaten growers’ ability to pick and pack fruit. While there is not yet any such thing as a dedicated Agricultural Visa, the Seasonal Worker Program has proven effective in supplying orchards with workers.
Growers have an obligation to look after seasonal workers in terms of payroll and living conditions. Protecting the rights of workers is essential to the future profitability and sustainability of Australian agriculture.
Although there has been some poor treatment in the past, most growers are responsible and compliant employers. Even isolated incidents of poor treatment of workers can damage the reputation of the entire industry and subsequently threaten the supply of seasonal workers.