Setting more than one piece rate and making bonus payments in the Horticulture Award
Can employers set a piece rate range?
A piece rate must be an exact dollar amount. Before starting a pieceworker must be given a piecework record which sets out their piece rate.
Employers can’t set a piece rate range because it means an employee won’t know the exact piece rate they’ll be paid for working.
Piecework records showing multiple piece rates
A piecework record can set out more than one piece rate. For example, a piecework record could include different rates for dry weather and wet weather work. In this case, an employee will still know the exact rate they’ll be paid for the work they do.
For every change to the piece rate, a new piecework record must be given to pieceworkers.
Can employers pay bonuses?
Piece rates are underpinned by the minimum wage guarantee. Pieceworkers can’t be paid less than the minimum hourly rate for their classification level.
An amount paid to a pieceworker to meet the minimum wage guarantee isn’t considered to be a bonus.
The Horticulture Award doesn’t include any specific provisions about bonuses. Employers wanting to pay bonuses should seek independent advice, to ensure that they’re complying with the award.
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