Changes to the Australian Horticulture Award – in practice

Changes to the Australian Horticulture Award – in practice 

The Fair Work Ombudsman continues to inspect businesses and issue infringement notices for non-compliance regarding the minimum wage guarantee introduced in Australia in April of this year. Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said employers were expected to apply the rules correctly, “Record-keeping is the bedrock of compliance. Employers who fail to meet these obligations are more likely to be underpaying, whether intentionally or not.”

In the first quarter of 2022 the team at ABC Software developed tools to accommodate the legislation changes. We have expanded and refined this functionality working with our clients through the year and into their harvest.

The reality is the record-keeping requirements are considerable and horticulture-specific software is key in meeting obligations. “We were pleased to see that some farmers have used technology to make it easier to pay their workers correctly under the award changes. We commend those who do the right thing and hope other farmers are encouraged by these practical methods to ensure compliance,” Ms Parker said.

We continue to develop our products and are currently reconfiguring the ABCgrower App to allow in-field editing of worker time records, in conjunction with settings allowing you to determine to what level time records must be collected. We remain true to our ethos of offering flexibility and providing tools, not rules, to help you meet your obligations. Talk to us to understand your options and gain insight into how growers are dealing with the legislation changes.

Taking your spray diary online

agrichemical record keeping

Taking your spray diary online

The old adage of “it’s not broke, don’t fix it” is out-of-date in today’s landscape where every opportunity for automation and increased efficiency should be explored. Ditching the paper in favour of an electronic spray diary is one such opportunity.

By taking your spray diary online you get accurate and timely information, calculations done for you, and no missing information or transcription errors from double entry or illegible handwriting! Enter your information once only and use it everywhere.

With ABCspray you can enter or access data anywhere on any device with an internet connection. ABC Software’s founder Sharon Chapman says “Your information is stored securely in the Cloud so there is no need to worry about backups or lost records. Having records available at the click of a button means no more searching for paper records.” Reports are reproducible at any time.

ABCspray holds sprayer calibration settings, water rates and application rates. Whether you accept your default rates, or make changes on the fly, the calculations are done for you. Flexible yet accurate software means you can worker smarter, not harder.

Good software will allow you to record all information required for compliance and this is underpinned by the information security provided by user access permissions, secure data storage and greater transparency. ABCspray supports you to meet your compliance requirements while remaining flexible. As Ms Chapman says, “we provide you the tools, you choose what information to record, according to your business requirements.”

A Consumables Management module is included with ABCspray at no extra cost. Chemical usage is recorded automatically, and you can track your chemicals and any other stock item by quantity and location. Multiple storage locations are supported, and you can carry out stocktakes online.

ABCspray sits within ABC’s worker management software, ABCgrower, and when used together it can automatically create timesheet records for your spray operators, and agrichemical costs are included in block cost reporting. “It’s made things heaps easier in the office; a life saver is how it’s been described” says Smart Berries farm manager Sally Jolly. There is no need to enter data into different systems, it increases reliability, and you can stay in one system to get information to make informed decisions. It also means having a relationship with one company.

ABC have a reputation for great customer service, summed up by Fresh Produce Group support analyst Megan Rogers, “Your team is such a pleasure to work with”. While paper might seem the cheap option, with the ease of use, time saving and record-keeping efficiency that software affords, ABCspray will save you money.

Who’s your best picker? Who’s thinned the most trees?

Who’s your worst picker? Who’s thinned the most trees?

Did you know you have visibility to your team’s productivity on the ABCgrower App? Always up-to-date, see the quantities being achieved and who your best and poorest performers are.  Use this information to make on-the-spot decisions.  

Available for any piece rate activity where Intra-Day times are collected – harvest, thinning, pruning and more!  

How to see Live Productivity on the ABCgrower App

  1. Tap Live Productivity on the main menu.
  2. Tap Activity Type and choose from the list. You will be able to select any piece rate activity for which records have been entered today.
  3. You can filter by Site and Block/Variety if you wish.
  4. Tap Search to view by Worker.  You will see the workers, their quantity and quantity per hour.
  5. Rotate into landscape mode to also see start time, last record time and total activity time.
  6. You can tap any column header to sort by that column. Tap again to reverse the sort order.
  7. You can also see the results by Work Crew. Turn on Show by Work Crew toggle before tapping Search.
  8. With the device in portrait mode the results show the work crew, number of workers, and quantity per hour.  Rotate into landscape mode to also see total activity time.
  • The results show the information recorded on your device. To see information from other devices as well, go to Live Productivity on ABCgrower Web.

Live Productivity on ABCgrower Web

You can also view Live Productivity on ABCgrower Web.  The search filters and reporting is the same as for ABCgrower App, however the results are a combination of information uploaded from all devices as well as information entered directly into ABCgrower Web.  Live Productivity is found under the Reports menu.

The existing Productivity report remains available.  Use this report to search a particular date range and for additional options.