Textile, clothing and footwear campaign - help for employers

We are currently in the compliance phase of this campaign. This means that we are auditing businesses (including field visits) within the textile, clothing and footwear industry to see if they're meeting their legal obligations under the Textile award. Employers will be audited on matters such as record-keeping, pay rates (including allowances), and whether the business is registered with the Board of Reference.

For insights and outcomes from the education phase of this Campaign, read our Textile, Clothing and Footwear Campaign Education Phase Report on our Campaign reports page.

If you’re in the textile, clothing and footwear industry, you and your workers are covered by the Textile, Clothing, Footwear and Associated Industries Award 2010 (Textile Award). You can check the Textile Awardexternal-icon.pngfor detailed information on who is covered and the classifications details.

We have information to help you understand your obligations when engaging workers within this industry including:

Do you engage outworkers in your business?

If you engage outworkers, or intend to, there are a number of requirements you should be aware of.

Textile Award Board of Reference

You must register your business with a Board of Reference before you engage outworkers. Once registered you will be given a registration number. This number must be included on many documents including your work records.

Boards of Reference are established under Schedule F of the Textile Award and are usually chaired by someone from the Fair Work Commission (FWC). There is a Board of Reference in most capital cities.

Minimum conditions for outworkers

If you use outworkers within your business the Textile Award sets out their minimum wages and conditions and your obligations to them. It also sets out the records you need to keep.

Outworkers must be engaged on a full-time or regular part-time basis. They are also entitled to at least:

  • the relevant pay rates set out in the Textile Award
  • the minimum entitlements in the National Employment Standards.

Work records

You need to make and keep a written record of what you and the outworker agree about getting your work done.

This record must contain:

  • Your name, address, ABN/ACN and/or registered business number
  • Your board of reference registration number
  • The name and address of the outworker
  • The address where work is to be performed
  • The time and date for starting and finishing the work
  • A description of the nature of the work required and the garments, articles or material to be worked on (including diagrams where available and details of the type of garment or article, seam type, fabric type, manner of construction and finishing)
  • The number of garments, articles or materials of each type
  • The time (including sewing time) for the work required on each garment, article or material
  • The price to be paid for each garment, article or material
  • The time and date that the work will be delivered to and picked up from the outworker
  • Details of the time standard used to decide how much time is needed for the work on each garment, article or material
  • The number of working hours needed to complete the work
  • The number of hours and days within an ordinary working week needed to complete the work
  • The total amount to be paid to the worker.

A copy of this work record must be given to the outworker before any of the work described in it starts. 

Use our work record template (DOCX 53.2KB) with each of your outworkers and make sure you have accurate records. 

Written agreements

Before an outworker starts any of the agreed work you must also complete a signed written agreement with them.

This must set out:

  • whether the outworker will work full-time or part-time
  • if the outworker is to work part-time:
  • the number of hours per week the outworker will work
  • details of any averaging including the period of time over which the hours will be averaged, for example a fortnight or a month.

The agreement must be:

  • clear and simple
  • in a language the worker understands.

You must:

  • give the written agreement to the outworker a reasonable time before it is signed
  • keep a copy of this agreement and a copy of any changes you and the outworker make to it
  • keep a version of it in English

Our written agreement template (DOCX 38.5KB) can assist you with recording the agreement you make with your outworkers. Remember that it is your responsibility to provide the agreement to the employee in a language that they understand.

Information for your outworkers

Schedule F of the Textile Award must be given to each outworker in a language that they understand.

Schedule F includes an information sheet for the outworker. It sets out some of the entitlements outworkers must get including: 

  • rates of pay
  • hours of work
  • leave and public holidays.

Schedule F including the information sheet can be found in the Textile Award external-icon.png.

Supply chain management

You may have contracts with a number of suppliers who make the goods that you sell. If these suppliers engage outworkers and do not pay them correctly you can be held responsible for the unpaid wages.

To find out more about supply chain management within the textile, clothing and footwear industry download our Working with your suppliers in the textile, clothing and footwear industry (DOCX 113.6KB) information sheet.

For information about why you should manage your labour contracting, and tips and tools to help you, visit our Contracting labour and supply chains section.

Do you engage employees within your factory or warehouse?

If you engage, or intend to engage, employees within your place of business, there are a number of requirements you should be aware of.

Minimum conditions

The Textile Award states that employees in the textile, clothing and footwear industry are entitled to:

  • the relevant pay rates set out in the award
  • the hourly rate of pay even if working as a pieceworker
  • overtime, allowances and penalties as set out in the award
  • unpaid lunch breaks and paid rest breaks
  • the minimum entitlements in the National Employment Standards.

Types of employees

Full-time employees must be provided with 38 hours of work each week. You can agree with your employees to average these hours over a period of up to 4 weeks. This means the employees may work more than 38 hours one week, but less in another.

Part-time employees work less than 38 hours each week. If you decide to employ a part-time employee you must make an agreement with them. This agreement must set out their regular pattern of work. This means it must state what hours they will work each day, as well as their starting and finishing times.

Our Part-time hours of work agreement template (DOCX 29.1KB) can assist you with recording the agreement you make with your part-time employees.

Casual employees work on an hourly or daily basis. They are entitled to receive a casual loading and a minimum payment for three hours work.

Casual employees who work on a regular and systematic basis for more than six calendar months can elect to convert to full-time or part-time employment. Our Casual conversion letter template (DOCX 52.8KB) can assist you with notifying casual employees of this entitlement. 

Help for small business

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