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What changes were made to the piece work rate decision?

Industry Advocacy

The National Farmers’ Federation has reviewed the minor changes and clarifications made by the Fair Work Commission to the piece work rate decision. 

Competent worker 

A competent worker should be able to earn the target rate of 15 per cent more than minimum wage. 

The determination of a competent worker is one with 76 hours (2 weeks) of experience working at the corresponding piece rate task with either the current employer or another employer. 

As employers are required to keep records of piecework completed, this paperwork can provide evidence of employee competence. 

Employers are expressly required to produce a copy of this record upon employee request. 

Piece Rate Formula

The clause indicating the piece rate formula has been redrafted to: 

“The employer must fix the piece rate at a level such that a pieceworker working at the average productivity of a pieceworker competent at the piecework task will earn at least 15% more per hour than the hourly rate for the pieceworker.” 

The “average productivity of a pieceworker competent at the piecework task” is to be determined by dividing the output of all “competent pieceworkers” by the total hours all of those “competent pieceworkers” worked. 

Pay comparison period (piece rate vs minimum hourly)

The reconciliation of piece rate earnings to potential hourly rate is to be conducted over a daily period, not hour-by-hour. 

They also made the following clarifications: 

  • Confirming casual loading is only factored into pay for casual workers 
  • Indicating that a piecework record can cover more than one task 

The 28 April 2022 start date will be 6 months after the principal decision was made, and 3 months from the date of these decisions. 

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