Farmhands get 2.9pc wage increase
FARMHANDS will receive an increase in wages and allowances in their next pay packets, amounting to less than $2 an hour or 2.9 per cent.
Increases to the Pastoral Industry Award 2010 came into effect on July 1 following the annual wage review by Fair Work Australia.
The pay of level one broadacre farming and livestock hands has increased from $14.31 an hour to $15.96, or $606.40 for a 38-hour week.
At the other end of the scale the pay of the highest level farm hand, or a level eight, has increased by $1.89 to $19.97 an hour or $687.10 a week.
Under the award, leading-hand pay rates will not change and the percentage of adult wages paid to juniors will remain the same.
Those under 16 will receive 50 per cent of full pay and 16-year-olds will receive 60 per cent, increasing by 10 per cent each year until they receive full pay at 20 years of age.
Special allowances for workers who must have a dog to perform their duties will remain the same, while other allowances will increase.
“Where a station hand is required by the employer to find their own horse and/or saddle, the employee will be paid a weekly allowance of $6.57 for the horse, and a weekly allowance of $5.25 for the saddle,” the award says.
The increase will see employees receive an extra 54c per week for the horse and 44c for the saddle.
Fair Work Australia says minimum wages of $15.96 an hour will also apply to workers breeding and raising pigs or poultry farming.
The 2.9 per cent wage increase is well above the $10 a week increase recommended by the National Farmers Federation in a submission to Fair Work Australia.
“NFF views minimum wages as being a fundamental part of the Australia’s safety net,” the March submission reads.
“Low-paid jobs act as a stepping stone into higher paid, more stable forms of employment within agriculture.”