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04 Dec 2019
It’s now December and we’re forced to think about Xmas – there will be staff (and ourselves) taking a break and spending time with family and friends, but have we made sure that the requirements for the labour cover that we’ve got in place are not only adequate, but compliant?
Relief staff can be difficult to source and once you’ve got them you want to hang on to them!
From the outset, it’s important to be clear as to whether relief staff are contractors or employees. Contractors typically invoice for work carried out. However, this on its own is not enough to classify them as a contractor. They must also fulfill the requirements set down by the Department of Labour.
There are two main contracts used for relief staff:
- Casual – where the employee is not offered any set hours and there is no pattern to the employment; and
- Permanent part-time – This would be used when there is a regular pattern of work, e.g. every third weekend, and with no end date to the employment arrangement.
Keeping staff safe all extends to any relief staff - be they employees or contractors. You will need to ensure that any relief staff are inducted onto your farm and be comfortable that any relief staff can use any machinery or vehicles that are a requirement for the position they are filling.
Do your homework just as you would do with a permanent employee.
- Check any references and ensure that relief staff have the necessary skills to undertake the job.
- Clearly communicate expectations around the role and responsibilities
- Have simple easy to use processes in place
Relief staff are an important part of our industry and need to be treated as well as any other employee you use. If we want to keep them working for us we need to treat them fairly and recognise the contribution they are making, as well as making sure we’ve met our obligations under employment law.
04 Dec 2019
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