MADEC: Is your induction process robust enough?
Does your on-boarding process with new workers meet the Fair Work standard?
Does it provide your employees with the information they require to work on your farm?
And conversely, have you collected the necessary information to ensure you are complying with laws and regulations?
A robust induction process is vital to kicking employment off on the right note.
- The induction phase is important in any job, but especially so in industries with high WHS risks and obligations.
To set both you and your employees on the right course, it is important that they understand your requirements and expectations.
They need to be told exactly how you expect them to perform and to conduct themselves in your workplace.
For them to work proficiently, they need to be properly trained and supervised, especially in the early days. Be clear about your on-farm rules.
- Provide a comprehensive WHS induction. Some of these workers may never have worked on a farm before, and expecting them to understand what seems obvious to you could lead to accidents and other problems.
Be clear about the use of PPE, safe work practices and other WHS rules and regulations. Remind employees they also have a duty of care to themselves and to their co-workers to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.
- Record keeping is a key feature of the Fair Work laws, and all employers have an obligation to ensure they keep the required records – they are invaluable in the event of an employee claim, and a failure to keep them can lead to penalties and a lack of records will offer no defence in a dispute.
- Ensure you get all their personal details, including Australian and home-country emergency contacts.
- Set up a standard health declaration form for employees to complete. This need not be complex, but again, can be vital in the event of an incident. Workers with treatable conditions (allergies, diabetes, asthma, epilepsy) should indicate what should be done to assist in the event. Similarly, pre-existing injuries should be noted so employees are not put into jobs which may exacerbate the injury.
- Check the visas of all your workers and make sure they have the legal right to work in Australia. This is NOT an option. It is a criminal offence to employ an individual who is not legally entitled to work in Australia and there are significant penalties.
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s office provides comprehensive templates and checklists for you to download: https://www.fairwork.gov.au/how-we-will-help/templates-and-guides/templates
– This article was written and published on this MADEC website.