National spotlight on horticulture sector

9 March 2010

The Fair Work Ombudsman today announced details of its national education and awareness campaign for the horticulture sector.

The campaign aims to educate employers about the new National Employment Standards (NES) and the Horticultural Award 2010.

It will be conducted in partnership with the Australian Workers’ Union, National Farmers’ Federation, Horticulture Australia Council and the Australian Industry Group.

Fair Work Ombudsman Group Manager of Field Operations, Bill Loizides, announced the campaign at the Western Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s 2010 IR Conference.

Mr Loizides said that together with the partners, the Fair Work Ombudsman had developed a special ‘Guide to the Horticulture Award 2010’ to assist employers understand their obligations.

“The guide contains an overview of the award, wages rates and answers common employment-related compliance questions,” he said.

Mr Loizides says the guide is one part of a suite of resources for horticulture employers to assist them understand and comply with the new Award and the NES.

The resources include a self-audit checklist, fact sheets and a CD-Rom with a wide selection of information for employers.

Seminars and educational visits will be held in some regions. Details of times, dates and venues can be found at www.fwo.gov.au/horticulture

“We are very serious about our job of building knowledge and fairer workplaces and are strongly focussed on ensuring the community understands its workplace rights and obligations,” Mr Loizides said.

Following a mail-out to 15,000 employers in the horticulture sector highlighting the availability of the guide and other materials, the Fair Work Ombudsman will randomly select up to 1000 employers nationally for audit in May and June.

In most cases, the Horticultural Award 2010 will be phased in through transitional arrangements set out by Fair Work Australia.

Hard copies of the guide are available by calling the Fair Work Infoline 13 13 94.

Employers or employees seeking further information can also contact:

  • Australian Workers Union - www.awu.net.au
  • Australian Industry Group – www.aigroup.com.au
  • Horticulture Australia Council – www.hac.org.au
  • National Farmers Federation – www.nff.org.au

Media inquiries:

Craig Bildstien, Director Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0419 818 484
craig.bildstien@fwo.gov.au

Ryan Pedler, Media & Stakeholder Relations Senior Adviser
(03) 9954 2561, 0434 365 924
ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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