I’m not shocked that worker exploitation continues to happen in the Australian farming sector. It’s been going on for decades and this article in The Guardian (Sept 14, 2022) shows it is still widely practiced.
Yes there are great farmers who treat employees well but, there’s also no shortage of horrible employers who make life miserable for their employees.
Here’s my top tips to stop you getting exploited in the farming sector.
- Never work for cash.
- NEVER WORK FOR CASH. Employers pay cash so there is no record of you working on their farms. That means no 88 day sign off, no insurance, no tax being paid, and no superannuation.
- Know exactly who you are working for. Is it the farmer or a labour hire company?
- Know exactly what your rent and living conditions are before you start.
- Know which award rate you will be working under and check that your pay meets the minimum standards on the Fair Work Australia website.
- Make sure you get hard copy or electronic copies of your pay slips regularly. Most of the exploitation occurs when documentation is poor or non-existent.
- Speak to people who have been at the farm longer than you to see how they are being treated.
- Look out for people of Non-English-Speaking-Backgrounds and travelling alone. Especially young women.
- Never pay for training or do unpaid trial work.
- If you do work for a good boss, pass the word around to other backpackers. Let’s reward the good people.
If you liked this article, please keep reading our website for more travel tips. Please also consider creating a seasonal worker profile on our platform. We will be introducing an employer ratings systems so people can see the good eggs from the bad ones.
Good luck and stay safe.