See You Next Season


Surviving your 88 Days on a farm

Backpackers working on farms in Australia have plenty of horror stories, but there’s also plenty of people who have a good experience getting their 2nd or 3rd working holiday visa in Australia on farms.

Here are my top tips for getting through your 88 days.

  1. Do not work for cash.  
  2. DO NOT WORK FOR CASH. If farmers want to pay you in cash they are doing this so there is no record of you working on their farm. That means no pay slips to prove you’ve done the 88 days. No superannuation. Your tax isn’t being given to the tax office so you’re not getting a refund, and you’re not getting covered if you get hurt at work.
  3. Make sure you know your wage and living arrangements before getting to the farm. Know your rent, transport costs, food options, etc. The Fair Work Commission is a very handy site to find out what is and isn’t legal conditions.
  4. It’s hard physical work. Pace yourself for 8 hour days in the hot sun. Expect to be exhausted, and learn to rest and recover. If your nails look like this chose a different option for your 88days.
  5. On Day 1 of your stay ask your fellow workers how they are being treated. If some people have been on that particular farm for 2-3 months that’s a good sign.
  6. Avoid labour-hire companies. Their shocking reputation is well deserved.
  7. Avoid the rainy season unless you get indoor work. The last thing you want to be doing while trying to get your tally up to 88 days is sitting out endless non-work rain days.
  8. Remember you’re there to work. Yes you are on a working holiday but the farmer isn’t paying you for the holiday part. Farming is stressful, and farmers have invested a hell of a lot of money to get their crop out of the ground. Farmers won’t invest in hungover people sleeping when they should be picking.
  9. There’s been problems with farmers exploiting people, especially young women from non-English speaking backgrounds. Farm work can be tough on people’s mental health. Look after each other. Making friends on farms certainly helps.
  10. Get yourself sensible clothing that can get destroyed. This ain’t no fashion show.
  11. If your boss is happy with you, use him or her as a reference. Ticking off 88 days on a farm proves you’re a strong worker and a good farm reference makes you very employable.
  12. Enjoy your days off and don’t try and work 88 days straight. You’ll just burn out.

If you like this article please share. You can even create a free seasonal worker profile on SEE YOU NEXT SEASON and select 88 Days as one of your preferred job options.

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