Significant changes to the Horticulture Award 2010 (Horticulture Award) 

Significant changes to the Horticulture Award 2010 (Horticulture Award) 

Some of Australia’s biggest fruit producers say a ruling this week by the Fair Work Commission is “a crazy decision” that will send some farmers broke and force up the price of fruit and vegetables.

Starting from April 15 2019, the Fair Work Commission has ruled that casuals on horticultural farms, who work more than an average of 38 hours a week over an 8 week period, will receive overtime, with overtime penalties also paid for working more than 12 hours on any one day.

The Horticulture Award 2010 (Horticulture Award) covers employers throughout Australia operating in the horticulture industry as defined in the Award and includes sowing, planting, cultivation, harvesting, picking, washing, packing and grading of horticultural crops and more.

Key points:

The changes to the Horticulture Award may affect the way many horticultural producers operate by limiting casual engagements due to the higher payments now required on overtime rates.

The impact of the decision seems counterproductive to recent changes to the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa program which was designed to attract more working holidaymakers to help support our farmers and boost regional tourism, and to target genuine workforce shortages in regional Australia

If you are an employer in the horticultural Industry operating under the Horticulture Award 2010 then it is essential that you review your upcoming rosters to identify where the increased payments may apply.  The increased rates apply as of next week, on and after 15 April 2019.

If you would like further information on the above ruling and its potential impact on your business, or assistance generally in employment matters, please contact us on (08) 9321 5451 or by email

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The above information is a summary and overview of the matters discussed. This publication does not constitute legal advice and you should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.

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