Subject to what your farm grows and the time of year your crops need to be harvested - employing temporary immigrant or seasonal workers for fruit picking or other seasonal farm work can be extremely beneficial for everyone involved.

That said, below are some key tips to consider and take into account before hiring temporary seasonal workers for your fruit-picking season.

1. Plan ahead
Time stands still for no man, woman or child! So for your farm to be able to harvest the best seasonal workers you can in the shortest and most productive time, plan and list the fruit picking or positions you have available well in advance.

There are several reasons for this:
•  Many of the people who apply will be from overseas travelling around Australia
•  Others may be temporary migrants that may be on or want to apply through a government program such as the Seasonal Worker Program, which may involve some lead-time.
•  And of course, you'll have peace of mind that you have the seasonal workforce you need when the time comes to pick your crop!

2. Where to advertise your seasonal work positions
Well, you could contact the people who worked for you in the past.

You can also advertise your fruit picking job or other agricultural small business job vacancy on websites such as Indeed or The Backpacker Job Board.

3. State the type of role in your seasonal job posting vacancy
When you post your job vacancy remember to state what the position is and what it entails for applicants.

By stating that is seasonal temporary position available from the time you need them to a completion date - you'll receive more qualified candidates and the cream of the crop. It will also save you a lot of time and energy on candidates who are not suitable.

4. Previous Experience
Of course advertising and targeting people who have previous experience in picking the fruit or harvest you have is also a great way to get the cream of the crop of qualified candidates to apply for your fruit picking job vacancy.

5. Hit the ground running
When it's harvest time, we have no doubt it's one of your busiest times of the year. So, you need to provide quality training in advance so your seasonal workers can hit the ground running.

While it is easy to think that your seasonal workers are only there for a short time, the more effort you put into training and educating them about your business and what their role is, the better off you, them and your harvest will be.

If you are time poor and concerned about the amount of time it takes to train seasonal workers effectively, perhaps you have someone on staff that could train your seasonal workers or fruit pickers for you?

6. Seasonal fruit pickers employment obligations
It's easy to think that because the seasonal workers you're hiring are only there for a short time that employment obligations do not matter.

While employment legislation and conditions for seasonal workers vary from state to state, just because your seasonal workers are temporary that's not a reason or excuse to take exploit them or treat them badly.

You need to make sure you meet all your legal and employment obligations before employing people for seasonal fruit picking irrespective of race, colour or creed!

Doing your due diligence before employing people for your seasonal fruit picking also protects you, your employee's and the fruit picker from possible legal action. It also shows you're a quality and fair employer and helps avoid any employment breaches that could amount to fines in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars if something was to occur.



At Murray Nankivell Accountants we're the first to admit that it takes time, energy and planning in advance to find the cream of the crop for your seasonal fruit picking or similar job vacancies. However it is also not as hard or scary as many small business and agricultural farms think.

At Murray Nankivell Accountants, we're about helping people succeed financially and in all areas of their life and business.

If you, a friend or loved one would like additional advice about your tax or accounting obligations before hiring seasonal workers for your fruit or agricultural small business, please contact us at Murray Nankivell on or by phoning us on 08 8765 7777.


About the Author - Joel Thomas


About Murray Nankivell

Our goal, mission and purpose are to help people reach their full financial potential professionally and personally and whatever that means for them.

We understand everyone is different which is why we're anything but your typical Accounting Practice. It's also why we've been growing our clients' businesses, minimising their tax and improving their bottom line for almost 80 years.

You see, we're well known for having a personal approach where we get to know you, what you want and what you want your business to give you first.

We have three main offices - Naracoorte, Bordertown and Murray Bridge – as well as 11 visiting offices in Meningie, Coonalpyn, Tintinara, Lameroo, Keith, Millicent, Robe, Penola, Kingston, Nhill and Kaniva.

We're also happy to visit all areas in between on appointment so if you would like to know about the value of structuring your business the right way please call us on: 08 8765 7777


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