Horticulture Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Horticulture Award 2010 [MA000028].

Piece rates

An employee can enter into a written agreement to be paid pieceworker rates under the Horticulture Award. This agreement has to be genuinely made without coercion or duress.

A pieceworker isn't guaranteed a minimum hourly or weekly rate that applies to the type of work they do, or the national minimum wage. 

The piecework rate has to allow the average competent employee to earn at least 15% more per hour than the relevant minimum hourly rate in the award. Casual employees also get a casual loading.

There are many factors that affect what an average competent employee is. There's no standard across the horticulture industry. 

Factors that should be considered in a piecework agreement include the:

  • crop involved
  • plants involved
  • terrain
  • particular harvest
  • picking requirements
  • size and sophistication of the business
  • packing shed
  • harvesting or pick data. 

Example: Calculating piecework rates

Webber and Sons Orchards plan to enter into a piecework agreement with Fiona, an adult casual picker. The piecework rate for Fiona is calculated as follows:

  • Weekly wage rate level 1 (see clause 14): $740.80
  • Plus 25% casual loading: $185.20 ($740.80 x 25%)
  • Plus 15% piecework loading: $111.12 ($740.80 x 15%)
  • Total: $1037.12
  • Daily wage rate: $207.42 ($1037.12 ÷ 5 days)

The daily rate is then divided by the bin or kilogram rate per day that an average competent pieceworker can achieve to determine the piecework rate.

For example, if an average competent pieceworker can pick 15 bins of fruit over a daily picking shift of 7.6 hours (approximately 2 bins per hour) the piecework rate is:

Daily wage rate ($207.42) ÷ 15 bins = $13.83 per bin.

If 2 bins are picked per hour by an average competent pieceworker, this is effectively $27.66 per hour.

This is higher than the award hourly rate + (25% casual loading + 15% piecework loading) ($27.29).

Use the Piecework agreement template (DOCX 41.3KB) to make a piecework agreement under the Horticulture Award.

Commission payments

An employee can’t be paid by commission only under the Horticulture Award.

For hourly pay rates in this award, check Minimum wages.

To find out more about who this award applies to, go to the Horticulture Award summary.

Source reference: Horticulture Award 2010 [MA000028] clause 15 external-icon.png