List of industry terms

When you are looking for a job or starting work in horticulture, you will come across workplace terms that you may not know.

If you have never heard of a TFN or an ABN or an award, read on. These are terms that growers should know too. 


Australian Business Number. You need an ABN to run a business in Australia, including when working as an independent contractor. Only certain types of activities external-icon.png are eligible for an ABN. Search ABNs on the ABN Look Up external-icon.png.


Australian Business Register. Contains a record of all ABNs. Search ABNs on ABN Look Up external-icon.png.

Annual leave

Annual leave allows an employee to be paid while having time off from work. Other known term: holiday pay.


Australian Taxation Office external-icon.png. The ATO manages the tax system in Australia and superannuation legislation.


An award is a legal document that outlines the wages and conditions of employment for employees that are covered by it within a particular industry or occupation. Other known term: modern award. Workers in the horticulture industry are usually covered by the Horticulture Award or Wine Award.


An employee who is employed by the hour or day as needed by the employer and paid a casual loading. Not to be confused with an 'independent contractor' who is self-employed.


A deduction occurs when an employer takes money out of an employee’s pay before it is paid to them. There are limited situations when this is allowed.


A person that’s hired to provide a service to a company either on a full-time, part-time or casual basis in exchange for payment. Other known terms: staff.

Employment services provider

A government funded recruitment agency external-icon.png to help recruit and refer workers for harvest work in certain regions.

Enterprise agreement

An enterprise agreement sets out minimum employment conditions and can apply to one business or a group of businesses.

Fair Work Act

The main employment law in Australia – the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

Fair Work Commission (the Commission)

Australia’s national workplace relations tribunal. The Fair Work Commission external-icon.png was established by the Fair Work Act and is responsible for administering the Fair Work Act. Its role includes making and varying awards, approving registered agreements, setting minimum wages, and dealing with a range of disputes including unfair dismissal claims. Previously known as: Fair Work Australia.

Fair Work Ombudsman

An independent Australian Government agency created by the Fair Work Act, whose role is to promote harmonious, productive and cooperative workplace relations and ensure compliance with Australian workplace laws. Other known term: Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Harvest Labour Services

An Australian Government program external-icon.png to support the recruitment and supply of workers to do harvest work in certain regional locations.

Harvest Trail

The government’s harvest trail website external-icon.png links job seekers with harvest jobs Australia-wide and provides tips for working in the horticulture industry. Also refers to travelling from one region to the next, as each new crop is ready for harvest.

Horticulture Award

The Horticulture Award sets the pay rates for most horticulture workers, including those picking, packing, planting, pruning etc. fruit and vegetables.

Hourly rate

A rate of pay based on the number of hours worked and the time when the work is done. 

Independent contractor

An individual worker who is self-employed and provides services to clients. They operate differently to employees and are seen as owners who run their own business. It can also mean a small business that subcontracts to another business to do work (e.g. a small cleaning business). Other known term: contractor or subcontractors (subbies). For more information including on the difference between contractors and employees, go to our Independent contractor page.

Labour hire

A business that employs workers and supplies them to do work for a host or client business (e.g. a host farm).

Minimum pay

The legal minimum rate of pay employers need to pay employees. Most often set by an award.

National Employment Standards (NES)

The 11 minimum entitlements that have to be provided to all employees.

Pay slip

A record of pay that employers must provide to employees within one working day of paying them.

Personal leave

Paid leave taken when an employee can’t go to work because they are ill or injured. Also called sick leave.

Superannuation (also known as ‘super’)

A payment external-icon.png that an employer makes to support a worker’s retirement. Migrant workers may be able to claim their super external-icon.png as a ‘departing Australia super payment’ (DASP) when they leave Australia.


Income tax or other types of tax are paid from money an employee receives, such as salary and wages, welfare payments, investment income from rent, interest and dividends, and profits from selling shares or property.

Tax file number (TFN)

A TFN external-icon.png is a personal reference number in the tax and super systems. A TFN is an important part of an employee’s tax and super records as well as their identity. An employee doesn’t have to have a TFN, but without one they pay more tax.

Wine Award

The Wine Award sets the pay rates for workers in the wine industry. The wine industry is the growing and processing of wine grapes.