What Specific Service Does Connect Group Provide?
Prior to placement of SWP or PLS Seasonal Workers in Australia, Connect Group will:
- Liaise with farmers regarding their labour requirements
- Provide advice regarding industry compliance and the regulations which govern both the SWP and the PLS such as accommodation requirements, remuneration under the relevant award and the minimum work that must be provided to seasonal workers to ensure they receive an appropriate net financial gain
- Complete mandatory labour market testing for Australian jobseekers as per the Federal Government regulations governing these programmes
- Facilitate offshore recruitment processes that ensure the best possible candidates are selected for physically challenging farm work that includes fitness and medical testing, English comprehension, police checks, financial literacy training and pre-departure briefings
- Make all up front payments regarding visa applications and flights and transfers to your site – these costs are later recouped from seasonal workers, with a standard contribution of flight costs recouped from the host farm.
The above processes require a 12-week preparation period in advance of your expected arrival date of our Seasonal Workers.
“Using the Connect Group gives me confidence that the workers are looked after, paid correctly & fully compliant.Lettuce, cauliflower, and broccoli farm – VICManaging Director
We have invested time, money & effort into this strategy,
including setting up compliant accommodation & purchasing suitable transport vehicles.
This is the only way to be confident that everything is right.
Long term, the benefits for us are better quality, consistency & efficiencies.
Direct employment can be a real nightmare with so many workers needed.
Working with Connect Group & the SWP has made employment simpler for us.”
Once our Seasonal Workers arrive in Australia, Connect Group will:
- Conduct a 2-3 day induction process that includes an on arrival briefing detailing Connect Group’s OHS&W requirements and code of conduct expectations, financial loan assistance to enable seasonal workers to purchase groceries and climate suitable clothing, set up bank accounts and introduce crews to community and religious services
- Provide ongoing training in Australian cultural living standards, hygiene and food safety compliance, teamwork regarding cooking, grocery shopping and domestic cleaning of accommodation and driving on Australian roads
- Arrange transport requirements for travel to and from work to accommodation and for personal shopping etc
- Provide standard PPE that includes Hi-Viz work shirts and wet weather gear, hats, safety glasses and work boots
- Provide consistent 24/7 well-being support to our Seasonal Workers to ensure their holistic needs are met throughout their stay in Australia
- Coordinate weekly payroll and statutory obligations such as superannuation, PAYG, workers compensation, payroll tax and GST
- Coordinate tax file numbers for Seasonal Workers and assist them to understand taxation processes, deductions to repay loans, access personal banking and claim superannuation
- Pay seasonal workers in accordance with the award relevant to your enterprise
- Report as required to the Department of Education, Skills & Employment, Department of Home Affairs and Fair Work
- Conduct all briefings prior to departure from Australia, coordinate flights and transfers and check in processes
How Does Pricing Work?
Connect Group will custom design the rates specifically for your business. We have the capacity to use piece rates, hourly rates or a combination of the two, based on your budget and labour requirements.
We will discuss with you how these rates meet industry compliance and the regulations under the SWP or PLS, such as your obligation to contribute $300 per placement towards the airfares of each of the seasonal workers you host. Whilst this is a cost not incurred with the engagement of back packers or contract workers, placing our Seasonal Workers at your site is an investment in a reliable workforce that will return year in year out, ultimately saving you money and resources that comes with a high turnover in your labour source.
How long do Seasonal Worker Placements Last For?
Our Seasonal Workers can be placed on your host site for between four and nine months under the SWP, or between one and three years under the PLS if you are looking for more permanent placements. All our employees must then spend a minimum of three months back in their home country, before being able to return on a new visa under a new contract.
Between 94 – 100% of seasonal workers return the following year to the same host site. Since the inception of the SWP, Connect Group have experienced a high success rate of returning workers, with many employees returning for seven or more consecutive seasons thus far.
Throughout each season we will be in constant communication with you to monitor the productivity of our crew and then debrief at the end of each season to evaluate each individual performance and your requirements for future engagements.
What Onsite Training is Required From a Host Farmer?
The initial three weeks of a new placement will set the tone for the success and productivity of our Seasonal Workers. This is a crucial time for your onsite training and induction processes to occur. It allows you to demonstrate the expectations of your business, the benchmarks in productivity and quality control and complete training in Standard Operating Procedures such as machine operation and tractor driving. We do ask that these site-specific training sessions be documented to be compliant with the regulations that we as an Approved Employer must adhere to.
The success and growth of Connect Group’s placements around Australia demonstrates that this is a one-off investment that will pay dividends many times over, with the return of your work force year in year out.
Connect Group also invest considerable training time in our crew leaders, who are then able to train new arrivals in future seasons.
Have any further questions?
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