Seasonal Worker Programme

On 2 April 2019, the Fair Work Commission handed down a decision external-icon.png to change the Horticulture Award. The decision changed the Horticulture Award for casual employees to include ordinary hours of work, a night loading and overtime entitlements. It also clarified the penalty rate for working on public holidays for casuals. The changes apply from the first full pay period on or after 15 April 2019.

Our Pay Calculator has been updated and can be used to calculate the overtime, night loading and public holiday penalty rates. To do this you need to select 'Show me pay rates as at 15 April 2019'.

The Horticulture Award has been updated to include the changes.

For information on how to apply the new rates, you can read our article Overtime & penalty rates for casuals in the Horticulture Award.

Our tailored information on Hours of work, When overtime applies and Working on a public holiday has also been updated.

Visit our Changes to the Horticulture Award page for more information.

People from the Pacific region and Timor-Leste can work in Australia on a short-term basis under the Seasonal Worker Programme.

During coronavirus, Seasonal Worker Programme participants may be able to extend their stay. To find out more about temporary visa arrangements during coronavirus go to the Department of Home Affairs Staying in Australia page external-icon.png.

The programme is open to employers in agricultural industries (including the horticulture, aquaculture, cane sugar and cotton growing industries).

It is also open to employers in certain locations across Australia in accommodation industries.

Entitlements for seasonal workers

Seasonal workers have the same rights at work as other employees in Australia. Seasonal workers are covered by the minimum entitlements under the National Employment Standards. They may also get entitlements from an award or registered agreement. Awards that cover the industries seasonal workers are allowed to work in are:

Resources for seasonal workers

Watch our Language storyboards (short videos) on information about basic workplace rights and entitlements in different languages, including Bislama, Tongan, Samoan and Tetum. They can help you to understand your rights and obligations in Australian workplaces.

Employing seasonal workers

To get involved in the programme, employers have to:

We give briefings to new seasonal workers when they arrive in Australia to start work. These briefings are an introduction to workplace rights and obligations in Australia. If you’re an approved employer under the programme, you can contact us at to arrange a briefing for your new employees.


For information about the programme contact the Department of Education, Skills and Employment external-icon.png.

Seasonal workers and employers who are part of the programme can email for information on workplace entitlements. You can also Call us.

If you need an interpreter call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 13 14 50. Tell the operator the language you speak and ask the operator to telephone us on 13 13 94.

Help for small business

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