Introduction to Employment & Reward

A person working on your farm may be engaged as an employee, a family member, an independent contractor or a share farmer. How they are engaged will determine which laws apply to the working relationship and have implications for the development of an appropriate remuneration package.

Have a clear understanding of the role and the type of person

You may have already considered how people are engaged on your farm as part of the recruitment process. If not you may want to refer to the Recruitment module.

Working out appropriate remuneration packages for the people on your farm is one of the most important elements of people management to get right. Packages must be designed to suit the type of engagement; comply with legislation; be competitive with other dairy farms and other workplaces; and reflect the complexity and responsibilities of the position, and the skill level and experience of the person.

Appropriate remuneration packages can include rewards other than wages or salary. Dairy businesses can offer staff accommodation, telephone, power, vehicle costs, meat and milk, performance incentives, agistment, and young stock as part of the package.

Rewarding people appropriately gives them the incentive to perform to their potential, and has a positive impact on job satisfaction, staff retention and productivity. This may mean that they take on responsibilities, make decisions and give you the chance to step back or perform other tasks in the farm business that you may not presently have time to do.

When you engage people to work on your farm, it is inevitable that at some time the engagement will be terminated. People may voluntarily leave the farm or be dismissed for performance or business reasons. There are legal implications surrounding termination that need to be considered when engaging people and developing contracts, agreements and remuneration packages.

This module helps you through the complexities associated with different ways of engaging people on your farm and developing appropriate remuneration and benefits that comply with your legal obligations. It also provides strategies for handling termination appropriately.

Keep up to date with industrial relations legislation

The industrial relations legislation in Australia is constantly changing. This module contains the most recent information available at the time but please subscribe to this website and the Fair Work Australia website for regular IR updates; or check with your legal adviser or state farming organisation.