Today, the Premier announced that the circuit breaker restrictions will ease from 11:59pm tonight. A summary of the conditions in effect from tomorrow is available at: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-02/210217%20-%20Full%20list%20of%20restrictions.pdf
As you may have seen in the media this week, there have been a number of major developments regarding seasonal workforce support.
The Victorian Government is providing an extra $19.3 million for three key seasonal workforce initiatives:
- $10.5 million for the Seasonal Harvest Sign-on Bonus – a bonus of up to $2,430 for jobseekers who take up a seasonal harvest job in horticulture
- $7.8 million for the Victorian Government’s co-contribution to quarantine costs for Pacific workers. Approved Employers will contribute $2,000 per worker
- $1 million for Seasonal Workforce Industry Support grants, giving a number organisations the dedicated resources they need to support local worker recruitment and retention activities in priority harvest regions and sectors.
Seasonal Harvest Sign-on Bonus
We know that horticulture businesses have been finding it hard to attract and retain local workers in regional and remote locations.
The Seasonal Harvest Sign-on Bonus is designed to encourage jobseekers to give seasonal harvest work a go and give farmers the workforce certainty they need.
The bonus is paid directly to workers in two instalments:
- An initial $810, after 10 days of work within a 30-day period
- A further $1,620, after an additional 30 days of work within a 90-day period.
The program is available to workers who take up seasonal harvest roles on Victorian horticulture farms, provided they:
- meet the work requirements
- have not worked in agriculture in Victoria in the past three months
- start work on or after 17 February 2021
- are 18 years or older and have work rights in Australia
- are not employed under the Pacific Labour Scheme or Seasonal Worker Programme.
Workers will be required to provide evidence that they have met the work requirements, but don’t need to register for the bonus until they have completed their initial 10 days of work. The online application portal will open soon, at agriculture.vic.gov.au/bigharvest
To find out more about the Bonus download the following fact sheet:
The Victorian Government will cover the majority of costs associated with quarantining 1,500 Pacific workers under its partnership with Tasmania.
Approved Employers will make a fixed contribution to the cost of quarantine, of $2,000 per worker.
The quarantine cost arrangement was developed in consultation with industry, and is on par with quarantine co-contribution amounts in other states.
Subject to Australian Government approvals, the first group of workers is expected to arrive in Tasmania mid-March.
Industry support grants
The $1 million Seasonal Workforce Industry Support Program will enable a number of organisations to provide dedicated seasonal workforce support to farm businesses.
Industry bodies can use the grant funding for operational costs and to employ staff to support businesses with seasonal workforce issues, including activities and materials to connect businesses to jobseekers and support the recruitment of seasonal workers.
More information about the program will be available shortly.
If you need additional material to help spread the word about this incentive, please get in touch with [email protected]
For ideas on how to promote this incentive download the social media kit: