Horticulture Showcase

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FWO activities

Image of a farmer standing in front of a crop field

 

The horticulture industry is a key focus for us.

On this page:

Our work in the horticulture industry

Our experience working with employers in the sector has shown there’s often confusion about an employer’s workplace obligations. This includes:

  • how to use piecework agreements
  • grower’s obligations when using a labour hire service.

We've been working closely with businesses across Australia to:

  • raise awareness about workplace laws
  • educate employers about workplace rights and obligations
  • increase compliance with workplace laws.

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What we’ve done

In 2018, we released our Harvest Trail Inquiry Report detailing our inquiry into workplace arrangements in Australia’s horticulture sector. This came in response to concerns about non-compliance with workplace laws from within the industry.

From the Inquiry, we learnt about:

  • widespread misuse of piece rates
  • a negative impact where labour hire arrangements were used illegally
  • low consumer awareness and unwillingness to pay more for ‘domestic fair trade’ produce contributing to workplace exploitation.

Learn more about the Inquiry and our findings on the Harvest Trail Inquiry page.

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What we're doing

We understand the factors that contribute to non-compliance in the sector and we’re working hard to improve things. We’re doing this by:

  • working with key business owners and influencers in the industry to drive behavioural change
  • enhancing the regulatory framework
  • enhancing compliance through information, education and support for employers and employees.

We'll continue to maintain a key focus on the sector. This is due to:

  • the high proportion of vulnerable workers employed
  • ongoing uncertainty concerning certain industrial instruments, such as the use of piece rates
  • ongoing issues relating to labour supply.

For a full outline of our plans, go to the Harvest Trail Inquiry Report (DOCX 6.2MB) (PDF 9.7MB).

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Resources