Vineyards are blatantly disregarding the national Wine Industry Award 2010, especially the section dealing with working in wet weather.
Section 23.6 (Disability Allowance Wet Work Award) clearly states the following:
“An employee who on any day works in a wet place must be paid 22.6% of the standard hourly rate of pay on top, unless provided with adequate protective clothing.”
A wet place is a location where an employee’s clothing becomes wet or where the worker has to stand in water or slush so that their feet become wet (Definitions of the Award (3.1)).
Vineyard Workers Association of Australia president Bram Holland said employees were being forced to work in inclement conditions without adequate clothing because some vineyard supervisors and managers were trying to extract four hours work even when, without wet weather protection, work should halt.
“If a casual employee is required to attend work they must now be paid for a minimum of four hours’ work,” he said.
“The names of several vineyards that have breached the Award by making the employees work the full four hours in wet conditions without adequate clothing protection and then not paying the appropriate penalty have been passed onto the Association.
“The VWAA has contacted those vineyards and it is hoped they will rectify the situation and respect the rights of their employees. This is a blatant breach of the award.”