August 2019 | Fruit & Vegetable News Magazine
An induction is a process of introducing workers to their job and to the business. When workers fully understand their role, surroundings and relations to co-workers, they will have all the information necessary to perform their job confidently, effectively and safely.
The Fair Farms Standard promotes that businesses have a well thought out and documented induction procedure. Businesses need to induct workers they hire directly as well as workers hired through a Labour Hire Provider.
What to include in an induction procedure
Every business is different, and therefore each induction process will cover different areas. However, at a minimum the induction procedure should cover:
- Workplace information, such as the location of break rooms and toilets
- Worker role, such as job descriptions and general duties
- Employment terms and conditions, including probations and piecework arrangements (where relevant)
- Worker rights and entitlements, including a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement and the Fair Work My Employment Checklist
- Work health and safety risks, requirements, policies and procedures
- Other workplace policies and procedures
- The reporting structure of the business
- Process for handling of disputes and grievances
When deciding what other topics to cover in your induction process, think about the unique features that contribute to your business values (e.g. always sending out deliveries on time) and workplace culture (e.g. having morning tea together weekly).
Inducting overseas workers
It is important to consider that workers from overseas may have limited English skills and experience in horticulture. When designing your induction process, keep these issues in mind and create a procedure for communicating induction information to those workers. This may include photos and diagrams, physically showing and demonstrating topics or teaming new workers up with experienced employees who speak the same language.
Documenting the process
Use a checklist to ensure every aspect is covered. Ensure workers sign the checklist to acknowledge they have
received an induction and understand the information they were given. Make sure to keep the signed checklist with the rest of their employee records.
Some employers make the mistake of not paying workers for the time spent on inductions. However, being inducted is a mandatory work activity, and therefore, workers are entitled to their normal rate of pay.
These and other important topics are covered in the Fair Farms Standard, which outlines the accepted principles of fair and ethical employment in horticulture.