Piecework records

Learn about piecework record requirements under the Horticulture Award.

Are you covered by the Wine Award? Go to How to use piece rates – Wine Award.

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Records about piecework

Image showing that piecework agreements stop applying from the first pay period that starts on or after 28 April 2022.

Image showing that piecework agreements stop applying from the first pay period that starts on or after 28 April 2022. Only piecework records will apply from this date. Employers should familiarise themselves with the requirements for each piecework record, such as the employer needing to sign each one. Employers also have to keep specific records for pieceworkers, including copies of each piecework record given to a pieceworker, as well as records of all hours worked by the pieceworker and at what rate those hours were worked.

For piecework, in addition to their record keeping obligations, employers have to keep 2 additional types of records under the Horticulture Award. These are:

  • a copy of each ‘piecework record’ given to their pieceworkers
  • a record of:
    • all hours worked by the pieceworker
    • the applicable piece rate at the time the hours were worked.

Looking for historical information? Access our historical guidance on piecework rates under the Horticulture Award in our Library article Piecework in the Horticulture Award prior to 28 April 2022.

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What is a piecework record?

A piecework record is a written record that employers have to give to pieceworkers setting out specified details of their piece rates.

From 28 April 2022, piecework records replace ‘piecework agreements’ under the Horticulture Award.

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What needs to be included in a piecework record?

You can use our free Piecework record template. This template will help you record piecework arrangements and meet your workplace obligations.

Under the Horticulture Award, piecework records have to include:

  • the date and time the piecework will start
  • a description of the task or tasks that the piece rates will be paid for
  • the piece rate amount
  • the hourly rate for the pieceworker’s classification level (including, for casual pieceworkers, the 25% loading)
  • the following statement: Under the Horticulture Award 2020, a pieceworker must be paid for each day on which they work no less than their hourly rate under the award (including the 25% casual loading for a casual pieceworker) multiplied by the number of hours worked on that day.

Find out more about piece rate rules and responsibilities under the Horticulture Award at How to use piece rates.

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When and how is a piecework record given?

Employers have to give pieceworkers the written piecework record:

  • before they start the piecework
  • signed by the employer
  • covering all required information.

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How do you change a piece rate in a piecework record?

If an employer wants to change the piece rate for a piecework task, they first have to give the pieceworker a new piecework record. This new record must include the revised piece rate.

Example: new piecework record for new piece rate

Helena and Bill own a carrot farm and have 6 pieceworkers to pick carrots.

Because of operational changes at the farm and to ensure they meet their award obligations, they want to change their piece rate for picking carrots. Helena and Bill follow these steps:

  • both look at the Fair Work Ombudsman – Horticulture Showcase and check what rules apply for piece rates
  • they then find out the relevant minimum hourly rate for each of the pieceworkers under the Horticulture Award using our Pay and Conditions Tool
  • next, they work out the relevant piece rate based on the ‘average productivity of pieceworkers competent at the piecework task’
  • finally, they download a Piecework record template (DOCX) (PDF) and include the new piece rate information.

Helena and Bill complete and sign these new piecework records. These new records are given to the 6 pieceworkers and show the updated piece rate for a piecework task.

Employers can use our free Piecework record template (DOCX) (PDF) and Piecework timesheet template (DOCX) (PDF). These templates will help you record piecework arrangements and meet your workplace obligations.

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When do employers need to give pieceworkers a copy of their records of hours worked?

Employers have to give pieceworkers (or former pieceworkers) a copy of the employee record of the hours they worked and the applicable piece rates upon request. Employees can use their records from a former employer to prove their competency to a new employer.

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What can happen if an employer doesn’t keep the right records?

If an employer hasn't kept the right records, we can:

Find out about litigation work at Litigation.

Understand piece rate rules and responsibilities under the Horticulture Award at How to use piece rates.

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