Top Banner
The People in Dairy Engagement & Reward
Main Nav
A People Approach
Farm Policies & Systems
Recruitment
Engagement & Reward
Individual Performance
Working Together
Planning for the Future
Employees
In This Module

Minimum entitlements

Employment laws have long recognised a number of entitlements which employers must provide to employees. Eligibility for the particular entitlement usually depends on the employment category.

Minimum entitlements can be found in state and federal industrial laws and in awards. The main entitlements are minimum wages, maximum hours of work and various forms of leave (sick leave, annual leave, carer’s leave and parental leave).

Minimum wages

Minimum wages are laid down in state and federal legislation and awards and must be complied with.

Federal awards

The federal Pastoral Award 2010 applies to all national system employers in the dairy industry. 

Pastoral Award 2010
Tip

The date the Pastoral Award 2010 began to apply to your business and the rates of pay, penalty rates and loadings depend upon how you run your business and the Award which covered you as at 1 January 2010.

For more information to to federal industrial laws.
.


This award creates five separate classifications for dairy farm employees with different rates of pay for each classification which reflect the experience and skills of employees.


The classifications are:
  • dairy operator grade 1A (farm and livestock hand level 1 - FLH1)
  • dairy operator grade 1B (farm and livestock hand level 3 - FLH3)
  • dairy operator grade 2 (farm and livestock hand level 5 - FLH5)
  • senior dairy operator grade 1 (farm and livestock hand level 7 - FLH7)
  • senior dairy operator grade 2 (farm and livestock hand level 8 - FLH8)

.

Matching job categories to the Pastoral Award 2010 employee classifications
Tip
Go to the Pay rates page to match a job category with its classification in the Pastoral Award 2010.

Back to top

Federal transitional awards

Until 26 March 2011 some employers in Western Australia were bound by the Pastoral Industry Award 1998. Dairy farmers in Western Australia who were bound by this award are now award free. 

Back to top

National minimum wage for employees not covered by an award

External link
Employers who are not bound by awards must pay at least the national minimum wage which is adjusted and published by the Fair Work Commission. For more information go to the Fair Work Commission website.

Back to top

State awards

The dairy industry in Western Australia is award free at a state level but WA State Minimum Conditions of Employment laws apply.

State minimum wage - Western Australia

Good read
Western Australia has industrial laws which lay down a minimum wage which is periodically adjusted and published by the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission. These rates apply when award rates are less favourable to the employee or when there is no award. For more information go to the WA Farmers Federation website or the State Industrial Laws.

Back to top

Maximum hours of work

Hours of work and awards

Most awards specify ordinary hours of work and the days on which those hours are to be worked. Penalty rates usually apply to hours worked outside these hours or days. Some awards allow work to be performed on weekends or outside a normal spread of hours without attracting penalty rates. Some awards also allow for hours of work to be averaged over a period of time to allow for seasonal demands (e.g. 152 hours over four weeks in the federal Pastoral Award 2010).

It is important to check the award which applies to your business so that you are clear as to when penalty rates apply. The federal Pastoral Award 2010 applies to all national system employers in the dairy industry. However, there are special rules about when this award begins to apply depending on how you run your business and which award you were bound by as at 1 January 2010. For more information go to federal industrial laws.

Back to top

Hours of work and federal industrial laws

The National Employment Standards (NES) specify that weekly hours of work must not exceed 38 hours plus reasonable additional hours. What is reasonable for additional hours is determined by a test which balances the needs of the business with the personal, family and occupational health and safety needs of the employee. For more information go to National Employment Standards.

In addition to the NES, the Pastoral Award 2010 provides for ordinary hours of work to be averaged over a four-week period, that is 152 hours over 4 weeks.

Under the NES, award/agreement free employers and employees can agree in writing that the employee’s hours of work will be averaged over a specified period of no more than 26 weeks providing the average does not exceed 38 hours per week. The averaging of hours provides more flexibility for employers whose business may have seasonal highs and lows. The agreement to average hours in this way must be recorded in a workplace agreement or in writing as part of a written contract of employment.

Back to top

Hours of work and state industrial laws - WA 

For maximum hours of work and minimum rates of pay in WA go to WA state laws.

Back to top

Leave 

Annual leave

Annual leave entitlements are laid down in awards and state and federal industrial laws which apply when there is no award or if the award term is less favourable.

All full-time employees are entitled to four weeks paid annual leave each year. Part-time employees accrue paid annual leave on a pro-rata basis. Awards and state industrial laws vary as to how the leave is accrued and calculated. Some awards provide for an annual leave loading to be paid to employees when taking annual leave and some allow for annual leave loadings to be paid for annual leave which is paid out on termination.
Casual employees are not usually entitled to annual leave as the casual loading is calculated to include a component to compensate them for loss of annual leave entitlements. 

Negotiating annual leave provisions
Tip
An employer and employee can agree to the employee having more than four weeks’ annual leave but not less. Employers and employees can negotiate more generous annual leave provisions in workplace agreements or as part of a remuneration package.

Back to top

The National Employment Standards (NES) and annual leave

The National Employment Standards provide for annual leave - see the NES page.

In addition to the NES, the Pastoral Award 2010 also provides for a 17.5% annual leave loading to be paid when leave is taken and upon termination if any annual leave is paid out.

Because the Pastoral Award 2010 does not provide for the cashing out of annual leave, employees covered by the Pastoral Award 2010 can only cash out annual leave if it is a term of an enterprise agreement which applies to them.

Award/agreement free employees may agree in writing with their employer to cash out annual leave, but have to keep at least four weeks annual leave (or the equivalent proportionate entitlement for part-time employees) to be taken as leave.

Template
Use this template for documenting an agreement to cash out annual leave.

Casual employees are not entitled to annual leave under the NES as the casual loading is calculated to include a component to compensate them for loss of annual leave entitlements. 

Negotiating more annual leave than in the National Employment Standards
Tip
Whilst the National Employment Standards provides the minimum amount of annual leave, employers and employees can negotiate more generous annual leave provisions in workplace agreements or as part of a remuneration package.

Back to top

Sick leave/personal leave/carer’s leave

Sick leave, personal leave and carer’s leave entitlements are laid down in awards and state and federal industrial laws. Part-time employees accrue this form of leave, on a pro-rata basis.

Casual employees are not entitled to paid sick leave, personal leave or carer’s leave as the casual loading is calculated to include a component to compensate them for loss of these leave entitlements. 

Negotiating other leave entitlements
Tip
Employers and employees can negotiate more generous sick leave, personal leave and carer’s leave entitlements in workplace agreements or as part of a remuneration package.

Back to top

The National Employment Standards (NES) and personal leave/carer’s leave

Personal/carer’s leave is provided for in the NES.
For more information go to the National Employment Standards.

Negiotiating more personal/carer's leave than in the National Employment Standards
Tip
Whilst the National Employment Standards provide the minimum amount of paid personal/carer’s leave, all employers and employees can negotiate more generous personal/carer’s leave provisions in workplace agreements or as part of a remuneration package.

Back to top

The National Employment Standards (NES) and parental leave

The National Employment Standards provide for parental leave. For more information go to the National Employment Standards.

Under the National Employment Standards (NES), parental leave is unpaid leave for parents for the birth or adoption of a child. It applies to both parents but, except for up to three weeks around the time of the birth or adoption, must be taken at different times. The NES about parental leave applies to all employers in Australia. 

The federal paid parental leave scheme came into operation on 1 January 2011.
Go to Paid Parental Leave to read more about this scheme.

Rules for parental leave
Tip
The rules for parental leave are complex and if an employee asks for parental leave you should seek advice from your state farming organisation or legal adviser.

Finding time for leave
Tip
If it is hard to organise quiet times to fit in leave, then it may be that there are not enough staff employed. If employees exceed 50 hours per week on a regular basis, many will become disenchanted, perform below potential and possibly seek another job.

Back to top

Meal breaks and rest breaks

Under the Fair Work laws meal breaks and rest breaks are an award requirement. The Pastoral Award 2010 provides for:

  • An upaid meal break of not less than 30 minutes and not more than one hour to be taken not later than 5 hours after commencement of work.
    All work performed during a recognised meal break must be paid at double time rates with the payment continuing until the employee receives the meal break.
  • A paid rest break of at least 10 minutes each morning.

The employer and the individual employee can agree that the meal break be taken at another time.
If employers and employees agree, a further unpaid rest break can be taken in the afternoon.

Award-free employees

Award-free employees should also be provided with rest breaks as part of an appropriate occupational heath and safety system in the workplace. It is suggested that the award provisions outlined above should also be applied for non-award employees.

Back to top

 

Previous Pastoral Award National Employment Standards Next
Module Resources
Find an Advisor
Leave Feedback
Print This Page