Do you employ people under the Pastoral Award? We recently got asked this question. “Our cattle enterprise employs staff under the Pastoral Award. We would like to know, if it’s too wet for farm work, how should time not worked be treated?” So, what is the answer?
Firstly, as the Pastoral Award makes no reference to inclement weather, it would depend whether or not there is special mention in the employment contracts. If there is no mention, then according to the Fair Work Act, the employer is not required to pay employees if they have to be stood down due to wet weather.
However, the Fair Work Ombudsman has published a “best practice tip” for employers to consider. Note, this is a tip NOT a requirement.
While an employee is not paid during a stand down period, an employer can be flexible and consider other options that will allow an employee to be paid.
The employer can consider letting employees:
- take a period of paid leave, such as annual leave.
- work at another location, such as from home or another work site.
Need some help understanding your employer obligations? Get in touch with Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nick at email@example.com, or call (07) 46383599.