The Queensland Government has introduced a new direction that commenced at 12:01 am on Tuesday 5, May 2020 relating to the agriculture sectors being able to access a seasonal workforce, while still meeting COVID-19 public health obligations.
The main change is that Health Management Plans are now required when farms and other agribusiness operations, including labour hire companies employ seasonal workers.
These plans are also required of accommodation providers for seasonal workers and transport providers for these people.
A template for the Health Management Plan for employers of seasonal workers is available here
A signed version needs to be submitted to this email address firstname.lastname@example.org
This new direction is designed to protect farm businesses, their employees and the local community from the introduction and spread of COVID-19.
The Health Management Plan Flowchart summarises the various scenarios. It is available here
Under this new Queensland Government direction, seasonal worker means all workers who do not return to their usual place of residence each day.
Technically the definition of a seasonal worker is:
An employee or contractor who usually resides outside of Queensland who:
- holds a letter of appointment from an employer;
- travels to Queensland to work in agribusiness or commercial fishing;
- travels on an itinerant basis within Queensland to meet seasonal labour needs; or
An employee or contractor who usually resides in Queensland who:
- holds a letter of appointment from an employer; and
- travels on an itinerant basis within Queensland to work on a farm or other agribusiness operation to meet seasonal labour needs; and
- does not return to their usual place of residence in Queensland each day.
More information on these changes are available online for businesses, including templates for the health management plans here
Information has also been developed for seasonal workers, including temporary visa holders, on their requirements and is available here