How To Manage Employment Termination of Farm Workers

When you end the ongoing employment of a Farm Worker or Farm Manager, you may need to pay out any or all of the following: Accrued Annual Leave, Annual Leave Loading, Long Service Leave, Payment in lieu of a Notice Period, Payment for work performed until time of termination, and Superannuation.

If you do not follow The Small Business Fair Dismissal Code when terminating an employee, such as a Farm Manager or Farm Worker, then you risk being accused of Unfair Dismissal. If you have given no valid reason for dismissal, your reasons of termination could be deemed as harsh or unreasonable, or the dismissal was not a case of Genuine Redundancy, then federal industrial laws and WA state industrial laws allow unfairly dismissed employees to take legal action against their former employer.

It is important to note that if you are a small business with less than 15 employees, the minimum employment period is 12 months, and 6 months for businesses with 15 employees or more.

It is also important to know your rights when it comes to underperformance and reasonable grounds for Instant Dismissal. You must give your employee a reason why they are at risk of dismissal and the opportunity to improve their performance before you can dismiss them. You do not have to provide such an opportunity if your employee has committed serious misconduct, such as theft or fraud. Such misconduct must be reported to the police. In these serious cases, Instant Dismissal procedures may be followed.

For more information about Employment Termination of Farm workers and Farm managers, Unfair Dismissal, Genuine Redundancy, Notice Periods, and managing underperformance in the workplace, see the People In Agriculture “Terminating Employment” article.

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