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ANNOUNCEMENT: The Fair Work Commission will be increasing the minimum wage by 3% as of 1st July 2019. The new minimum base wage will be $19.49/hr, up from $18.93/hr.

What does this mean for you?

All farm employers will need to review their employees’ wages and salaries to ensure they are not under-paying their farm staff and truck drivers.

For all employees paid a flat rate per hour, individual flexibility agreements will need to be reviewed and re-calculated to confirm all penalty rates are taken into account based on the new rates.

What circumstances contribute to an increase in the base rate paid to employees?

When determining the rate of pay, the following factors need to be taken into consideration:

  1. Hours worked above an average of 38 hours for the week
  2. Penalty rates for public holidays, overtime and Sundays
  3. Classification level of employment based on the Pastoral Award or Road Transport Long Distance Award categories
  4. Any allowances for provisions such as meals, management, accommodation, uniform, etc
  5. Casual staff attract an additional 25% loading
  6. If paying a flat rate per hour, does it include annual leave loading?

It is important to remember that if you decide to pay a flat rate for every hour worked, you must have an employee flexibility agreement in place which ensures the employee is better off overall than the award and incorporates all the above, even if it is only 5c per hour.

ORM has supported many farm employers to ensure they meet their fair work obligations including calculating the flat rate required per employee and preparing the documentation required to support the communication between the employer and the employee.

If you would like assistance in meeting your Fair Work obligations, please give us a call.

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