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Changes to the Horticulture Award

Posted by Fair Work Ombudsman on 10 May 2019

In April 2019, the Fair Work Commission handed down a descision to change the Horticulture Award. 

The decision changed the horticulture Awards for casual employees to include ordinary hours of work, a night loading and overtime entitlements. It also clarified the penalty rate for working on public holidays for casuals. 

The Changes apply from the first full pay period on or after 15 April 2019. 

What are the changes?


Casual employees are now entitled overtime pay. 

They get overtime rates when working more than: 

  • 304 ordinary hours during an 8 week period 
  • 12 ordinary hours on any day or engagement

For any overtime worked, they're paid 175% of thier minimum hourly wage (this includes their 25% causal loading). 

Night Loading 

Casual employees are also entitled to a 15% night loading if they work between 8.31pm and 4.59am. This is paid in addition to their 25% casual loading. Both loadings are calculated on thier minimum hourly wage. 

During daylight saving time, employers and the majority of thier affected casual employees in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia can agree to shift the daily spread of hours forward by one hour. When this occurs, the 15% night loading applies between 7.31pm and 3.59 am (instead of 8.31pm - 4.59am). 

Public Holidays 

The decision also clarified the public holiday penalty rate for casual employees. 

Casual employees who work on a public holiday are paid 225% of thier minimum hourly wage (this includes thier 25% casual loading). Employees get this rate whether they're working overtime hours or normal hours. 

The Fairwork Obudsman Pay Calculator has been updated and can be used to calculate the new overtime, night loading and public holiday penalty rates. 

The Horticulture Award has been updated to include the changes. 

For information on how to apply the new rates, you can read our article Overtime & penalty rates for casuals in the Horticulture Award.

Our tailored information on Hours of work, When overtime applies and Working on a public holiday has also been updated.

You can read the Fair Work Commission's full decision, the determination varying the Horticulture Award and the review into casual employment on the Commission's website.

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Author: Fair Work Ombudsman
Tags: Industry News

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