Incentives to attract labour: State by state guideIndustry Best Practice
There is currently much work going on behind the scenes to get as many domestic workers as possible to take up agricultural work.
A number of incentives are available to Australians to fill the spots usually filled by seasonal workers, with these incentives different depending on the state.
While there is scepticism about the willingness of Australians to fill these roles, APAL recognises that while not a long term solution, it is important to maximise the available workforce as much as possible in the interim, until the industry can return to usual workforce sources.
APAL took a look at the harvest labour support that is available to each state to attract domestic workers in each state. Note that for the purposes of this article, only incentives for domestic workers have been considered:
From 1 December 2020, all job seekers participating in employment service programs will be immediately eligible for the Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job program.
From 1 November 2020, relocation assistance will be available to people who relocate to harvest and regional areas to take up short-term agricultural work, including Australians who are not receiving income support and those with the right to work in Australia.
- $3000 if you relocate to a capital city
- $6000 if you relocate to a regional area
- An extra $3,000 if you relocate with a dependent
If you relocate to take up short-term agricultural work, you may be eligible to receive up to:
- $6000 if you are an Australian worker
- $2000 if you are a visa holder with the right to work in Australia
Click here to read more about the Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job program.
The following factsheets provide further information on the program:
Payments of up to $1500 to assist with accommodation and transport costs associated with travelling and staying in remote locations, as part of the Seasonal Worker Funding Package
The package will initially target employment opportunities in Wide Bay and Darling Downs, but may be available to other areas further down the track.
There are currently no state-specific labour incentives available for workers in Tasmania, however those who relocate more than 90 minutes are eligible for the Federal Government’s relocation program.
One labour-hire provider on the apple isle said that any labour incentive the Tasmanian Government was considering providing was covered off by the Federal Government’s Take Up a Job program.
The Tasmanian Government has spent $1.9 million trying to mobilise a domestic workforce through an advertising campaign, investment in skills and training, regional transport and investment in Safe Farming Tasmania.
The Victorian Government is providing financial support to businesses to offset the costs of worker accommodation (up to $200 per day for 90 days), travel to work costs (up to $50 per day for 90 days) and relocation costs (up to $500 per employee).
As part of the Agriculture Workforce Plan, seasonal agriculture workforce coordinators have been employed to support the agriculture sector navigate the complexities of harvest.
Businesses are invited to register for seasonal workforce support through Agriculture Victoria’s website.
Eligible workers who move to specific regions will be able to claim up to $40 a night in accommodation rebates for up to 12 weeks – up to a maximum total rebate of $3360.
Workers will also be able to claim $150 for travel to the Peel, South-West, Great Southern, Wheatbelt, Mid-West or Goldfields-Esperance regions, $350 for travel to the Gascoyne or Pilbara, and $500 for travel to the Kimberley for agricultural work.
The Western Australian Government has also invested significant money into the Work Out Yonder and Wander campaign, aimed at attracting young Australians to agricultural work.
New South Wales
NSW Department of Primary Industries will soon be announcing a campaign aiming to fill roles with young people.
The ‘Regional NSW Gap Year’, will target young Australians, with the goal of providing jobs across agriculture, as well as a number of other sectors, in rural areas.
The campaign has not been announced yet. Those eligible are able to apply for the Federal Government’s Take Up a Job program.
There are currently no state-specific labour incentives available for workers in South Australia, however those who relocate more than 90 minutes are eligible for the Federal Government’s relocation program.
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