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JobWatch was featured on The New Daily on 6 July 2021, commenting on piece rates in the agriculture industry.
July 06, 2021
JobWatch, an employment rights community legal centre that provides support to workers in Victoria, Queensland, and Tasmania had more than 500 calls from people working within the agricultural, forestry and fishing industries – the majority of which were picking fruit and vegetables.
Many of the issues related to piece rates – the method of payment offered to harvest workers whereby they are paid by how much they pick, rather than an hourly rate.
“The scope of the problem is far greater than what is officially reported to enforcement agencies,” JobWatch executive director Zana Bytheway said.
Cases JobWatch has worked on showing that “current piecework picking rates need to be tested for accuracy when in practice,” Ms Bytheway said.
“There have been cases where the pickers had already been working for some time and were demonstrably faster than their peers, yet they still failed to earn the equivalent pay-rate under the relevant classification in the Award,” she said.
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