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Update to the Pieceworkers minimum wage for Horticulture Businesses

The Fair Work Commission decided to change piecework rules in the Horticulture Award, effective from 28 April 2022. 

Pieceworkers covered by the Horticulture Award, are employees who get paid by the piece. Their pay is based on the amount the employee has picked, packed, pruned or made.  

Which businesses does this affect? 

The businesses under the Horticulture Award may include:  

  • agricultural holdings
  • commercial flower growers
  • vegetable market gardens
  • Most orchard growers
  • Any activity such as sowing, planting, raising, cultivating, harvesting, picking, packing, storing, grading, forwarding or treating horticultural crops are included under this award.


Businesses that may fall outside this award could include*:  

  • Animals and animal products (see Pastoral Award)
  • Wine industry
  • Silviculture and afforestation
  • The sugar cane growing and sugar processing industry
  • Plant nurseries
  • Broad acre mixed farming (see Pastoral Award)

*Award classifications can be complex and employers should always check their employee’s awards and classifications carefully. 


What are the changes? 

Effective from 28th April 2022, the Award has a new Minimum Wage Guarantee meaning pieceworkers have to be paid higher amounts of either: 

  • What they earned for the piece rate


  • What they earned for day based on minimum hourly rate

What does this mean for payroll? 

There will be the additional obligation for record keeping of piecework, time and rate records. Each employer will need to report: 

  • New piecework record

Piecework record must be signed and given to pieceworker before task is performed 

  • New time and rates record

Hours worked each day and applicable piece rates for those hours 


Automated pay calculator with ReadyTech 

Remove the added manual admin burden with our Ready Workforce cloud solution. Our sophisticated payroll system has in-built capabilities for real-time capture of hours worked (based on minimum wage or individual contracts) and pieceworker units for each shift. 

The Pieceworker feature allows: 

  • Timesheet capture of hours with piece count and rate customised to individual contracts
  • Mass bulk updates and loading of employee details to support changing business conditions.
  • Record earnings using Piece Rate pay calculations to determine eligible amounts.
  • Pre-set individual minimum payrate and ‘Top up’ to reach legal minimum pay for each pay cycle.


Want to learn more? Speak to a ReadyTech Workforce Solutions consultant.