For six years ProcessWorx has been helping Farmers with their HR and Safety. This experience in the agricultural space has given us the understanding to help you with your HR and Safety problems effectively. From piggeries to wineries, we have experience providing solutions to a wide range of farming businesses. Over time we have picked up a few tips that can help farmers and agricultural businesses.
- Know what industrial relations system you fall under
There are two industrial relations systems in Australia, State and Federal. Your business will fall under the State system if you are, a sole trader, or an unincorporated partnership or trust. Your business will fall under the Federal system if you are a proprietary limited (Pty Ltd). This is particularly important for Farms as these systems determine which Awards and pay rates apply to your employees.
- Know the award you are covered by
The Farm Employee’s Award is applicable to farm employees under the State system. Under the Federal system, farm employees are covered by the Pastoral Award. Some farm businesses may be covered by multiple Awards, depending on the employees’ duties and tasks. Other Federal Awards that may apply are the Horticultural Award, Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award and the Clerks Award. If an employer is covered by more than one award, the employee is covered by the award which is most appropriate to the work performed and the environment they normally perform the work.
- Have employment contracts
Employment contracts outline the rights and obligations of the employee and employer. We recommended all employees, casual and permanent, have written employment contracts. If disputes over entitlements arise, the Fair Work Commission will often refer to employment contracts for a resolution. Having written employment contracts also allows you to detail terms and conditions of employment like probation, accommodation, utilities, vehicle usage, meals, and fitness for work.
- Have work health and safety systems
New work health and safety laws have cemented safety’s importance in the farming and agriculture industries. Under the new WA Work Health Safety Act farmers are responsible for, a work environment without risks to health and safety, safe plant and structures, safe systems of work, safety and health information, training, instruction or supervision and monitoring of the health of workers and conditions of the workplace. Industrial manslaughter has also been introduced which means farmers can face prison time or hefty fines if a worker dies or is seriously injured on their farm. Having up to date safety systems and processes in place, using risk assessments, safety toolbox meetings and safety inductions can help protect farmers from risk.
ProcessWorx has extensive experience working with farms to ensure they meet their HR and Safety legal obligations. Farmers can have peace of mind that a team of experts is helping their business. Our main point of difference is the support time our Advisors spend with farmers and the ongoing compliance updates we provide.