Article sent to



This award as varied to 14 March 2000 (variation V002)

  Note: This award has been repaginated


  Please note that this consolidated award is prepared by the Australian Industrial Registry, and is believed to be accurate but no warranty of accuracy or reliability is given and no liability is accepted for errors or omissions or loss or damage suffered as a result of a person acting in reliance thereon.

Official copies of Australian Industrial Relations Commission decisions, awards and orders can be purchased from the Australian Industrial Registry in each capital city.

Printed by the authority of the Commonwealth Government Printer


s.33 action on Commission’s own motion  (C No. 20175 of 1998)  Application under Item 49 of Part 2 of Schedule 5 of the Workplace Relations and Other Legislation Act 1996

National Farmers Federation (C No. 34864 of 1998)  PASTORAL INDUSTRY AWARD 1986  (ODN C No. 04948 of 1986)

Various employees Agricultural industry COMMISSIONER MERRIMAN MELBOURNE, 30 JUNE 1998

Allowable matters


A.      The above award is varied as follows:

By deleting clauses 1 to 79, Schedules “A”, “C” and appendices A to D and inserting the following:


1.       TITLE

This award shall be known as the Pastoral Industry Award 1998.


This award is arranged as follows:

Part 1 - General conditions 

1. Title 2. Arrangement 4. Date the award Starts 3. Definitions 14. Dispute Resolution  8. Enterprise Flexibility Provisions 7. Leave Reserved 12. National Training Wage 6. Absorption 11. Posting of Rates 13. Redundancy 9. Station Hands Employed at Shearing or Crutching 10. Superannuation Legislation 5. Where and Who this award Covers 

Part 2: Employees Other than Station Hands

33. Absence from Work, Leaving, Discharge 23. Additional Rates for Work on Public Holidays 27. Allotment of Stands 25. Allowances for Shed Staff 26. Combs, Cutters and Handpiece 16. Contract of Engagement - Categories 15. Anti-discrimination 22 Hours of Work 28. Injuries to Sheep 36. Overnight Stays 35. Payment of Wages 32. Posting of Tallies 29. Provision of Sheep 18. Rates for Crutching 21. Rates for Shearing cooks 19. Rates for Shed Hands 20. Rates for Woolpressers 17 . Rates of Pay for Shed Staff  24. Special Conditions Relating to Shed Employees 34. Transport in Case of Illness or Discharge 31. Withdrawal of Sheep 30. Yarding Sheep for Shearing 

Part 3: Station Hands 

44. Annual Leave 42. Charges for Accommodation, Meat, Goods and Services 37. Contract of Employment 41. Deductions from wages 46. Fares and Travelling Expenses 39. Hours of Work, Overtime and Sunday Work 47. Keep 43. Public Holidays and Election Days 38. Rates of Pay 45. Sick leave 40. Special Allowances

Schedule A Agreement
Schedule B List of Respondents
Schedule C Shearers Formulae

3.   DEFINITIONS In this award, unless the contrary intention appears:

Commission means the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

Commissioner means the Australian Industrial Relations Commission constituted by a Commissioner.

Crutching includes all the operations for which rates are prescribed in this award and the meanings of the words “crutch”, “crutcher” and “crutched” are similarly extended.

Cut Out shall mean the completion of the shearing or crutching of the last sheep shorn or crutched at the termination of the shed.

Double-fleeced means a sheep carrying two years fleece.

Domestic cook includes any cook who cooks for fewer than four station hands, excluding the cook, and any cook who cooks for fewer than six employees engaged for shearing or crutching operations.

Domestic servant means any employee who works mainly for the owner’s or manager’s household and includes domestic cooks (as defined).

Employer means and includes:

     The NSW Farmers’ (Industrial) Association;

     The Victorian Farmers Federation Industrial Association;

     TFGA Industrial Association;

     The Pastoralists’ and Graziers’ Association of Western Australia (Incorporated);

     Western Australia Farmers Federation Industrial Association;

     The Pastoralists’ Association of West Darling;

     The South Australian Farmers Federation Industrial Association

     The Shearing Contractors’ Association of Australia; and each of the members of each of the said Associations and each of the other persons, firms, companies or bodies whose names appear in Schedule “B” of this award. 

Found employees shall be employees who are supplied with up to 5 meals per day during the course of shearing or crutching, such meals to be provided by the employer together with suitable accommodation.

Joint mess means a mess established pursuant to clause 24.1 of this award the terms of which are set out in clause 24.2 of this award covering both found and not found employees.

Learner means a shearer or intending shearer who has not yet shorn 5,000 sheep.

Not found employees shall be employees who are engaged under part 2 of this award who shall be responsible for the provision of their own meals, including cooking of such meals.

Over is defined as the amount ( whether it be termed “overaward payment”, “attendance bonus”, “service increment”, or any term whatsoever) which an employee would receive in excess of the minimum award safety net (i.e. Base rate plus supplementary payment) for the classification in which such employee is engaged. Provided that such payment shall exclude overtime, shift allowances, penalty rates, tool allowances, industry allowances, disability allowances, parity allowance, location allowances, special rates or allowances, fares and travelling allowances, any other ancillary payments of a like nature prescribed by this award.

Rams means male sheep that are more than six months old.

Stags means rams that have been castrated after they have attained 18 months.

Stud ewes means ewes with tags in their ears from which rams are bred for sale or station use but the term does not include ewes of the flock which have tags in their ears for the purpose of identification other than for stud purposes.

Shearing is where:

(a)     the employee takes off the belly wool first and lays it aside, and, when required by the employer, the employee shears over the tail when shearing the first side; and  

(b)     in opening the fleece at the neck and belly, the machine or (if shears are used) both blades of the shears will be kept under the wool and close to the skin, so as to avoid twice cutting and where the employee does not run the machine or shears through the fleece so as to break it down the centre or the back.

Shearing cook means a cook who regularly follows the occupation of shearing cook and who cooks for six or more employees who are engaged for shearing or crutching operations.

Shed means shearing shed or, in relation to crutching work performed other than at a shed, the property, station or location where crutching work is or will be undertaken.

Station hand means an employee to whom the award applies including station cooks but excepting employees engaged for shearing or crutching operations to whom Part 2 of this award applies.

Station Cook means a cook who cooks for station hands and /or other station personnel.

Union means The Australian Workers’ Union.

Words importing the masculine gender shall include the feminine.

Words in the singular shall include the plural and words in the plural shall include the singular.


This award shall come into force on 29 June 1998 and shall remain in force for two years.


5.1     Where does this award apply?

5.1.1     Subject to 5.1.2 hereof, this award applies in:

Victoria; New South Wales; Tasmania; South Australia; and Western Australia

5.1.2           In respect of crutching work the locality of the award shall be as follows:

       Crutching at sheds; the award shall apply in the States of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia; and

       Crutching other than at sheds; the award shall only apply in the States of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

5.1.3     For all purposes of this award, the Australian Capital Territory shall be deemed to be part of New South Wales.

5.2     This award shall be binding upon employers in respect of all employees whether members of the union or not.

5.3   Employees shall be bound by this award only when employed by employers bound by this award.

5.4     Who does the award apply to?

5.4.1     This award shall apply to all employees, other than those specified in subclause 5.4.2 hereof, employed by respondent employers in connection with the management, rearing or grazing of sheep, cattle, horses or other livestock, the sowing, raising or harvesting of crops, the preparation and treatment of land for any of these purposes, and the shearing or crutching of sheep.

This award bind all employers as defined and the union.

5.4.2     This award shall not apply to:

       members of the employer’s family;

       managers, overseers, woolclassers, shearing machine experts, bookkeepers, jackaroos, domestic cooks (as defined) or domestic servants (as defined).

       bona fide students of a recognised university, college or high school who work as station hands during the course of their studies or during recognised work experience programs to gain experience in the industry.

Provided that this award shall apply to students engaged as shed hands or generally useful hands for shearing or crutching operations.

5.4.3     This award shall not apply to shearing demonstrations or shearing schools provided that such demonstrations or schools are conducted on a non-profit making basis.


The rates of pay in this award include the arbitrated safety net adjustment payable under the April 1998 and April 1999 Safety Net Review - Wages decisions (Q1998 and R1999). This arbitrated safety net adjustment may be offset against any equivalent amount in rates of pay received by employees whose wages and conditions of employment are regulated by this award which are above the wage rates prescribed in the award.  Such above award payments include wages payable pursuant to certified agreements, currently operating enterprise flexibility agreements, Australian workplace agreements, award variations to give effect to enterprise agreements and overaward arrangements.  Absorption which is contrary to the terms of an agreement is not required.

Increases made under previous National Wage Case principles or under the current Statement of Principles, excepting those resulting from enterprise agreements, are not to be used to offset arbitrated safety net adjustments.


Notwithstanding the provisions of clause 6 of this award, leave is reserved to the parties to make application in relation to the following matters no earlier than 1 January 2000:

     Introduction of 38 hour ordinary working week in Part 3 of this award

     20% casual loading for employees in Part 3 of this award

        A skills based classification structure in Part 3 of this award


Notwithstanding any other provision where an employer or employees wish to pursue an agreement at the enterprise or workplace about how the award should be varied so as to make the enterprise or workplace operate more efficiently according to its particular needs the following process shall apply:

8.1     A consultative mechanism and procedures appropriate to the size, structure and needs of the enterprise or workplace shall be established.

8.2     For the purpose of the consultative process the employees may nominate the union to represent them.

8.3     Where agreement is reached an application shall be made to the Commission.


Notwithstanding anything else contained in this award, Part 2 of the award shall not apply to any employee engaged to work on a weekly basis under Part 3 during any time the employee is employed in shearing or crutching operations of the principal employer. Provided that this clause shall not apply to any station hand engaged by the week who works in the employer’s shearing shed and who has been engaged by the employer during the period commencing one week before the actual shearing or crutching begins and who is discharged during the week after the shearing or crutching actually ends. In such case, the employee shall be paid station hand rates when performing work covered by Part 3 of this award and shearing rates when performing work covered by Part 2 of this award.


10.1   The subject of superannuation is dealt with extensively by legislation including the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992, the Superannuation Guarantee Charge Act 1992, the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 and Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993. This legislation, as varied from time to time, governs the superannuation rights and obligations of the parties.

10.2   Employers and employees may agree to place statutory superannuation contributions into any superannuation fund complying with the aforementioned legislation. In default of agreement, such contributions are to be placed in the Australian Primary Industry Superannuation Fund.

10.2.1         in respect of any employee to whom this clause applies, the employee’s “notional earnings base” for the purpose of the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act shall be that employee’s “ordinary time earnings”. For the purpose of this subclause “ordinary time earnings” means either:

10.2.2         in the case of an employee employed pursuant to Part 2 of this award the total amount of gross wages paid for the period of shearing or crutching operation (as the case may be); or

10.2.3         in the case of an employee to whom Part 3 of this award applies, the rate for that employee’s classification under this award, together with overaward payments (where relevant).


Employers shall display the rates of pay in respect of this award in a place notified to employees or shall supply a copy of the rates of pay to employees on request.


A party to this award shall comply with the terms of the National Training Wage Interim award 1994, as varied, as though bound by clause 3 of that award.


13.1   Definition

  Redundancy occurs when an employer decides that the employer no longer wishes the job the employee has been doing to be done by anyone and this is not due to the ordinary and customary turnover of labour.

  13.2   Transfer to Lower Paid Duties

  Where an employee is transferred to lower paid duties by reason of redundancy the same period of notice must be given as the employee would have been entitled to if the employment had been terminated and the employer may at the employer’s option, make payment in lieu thereof of an amount equal to the difference between the former ordinary rate of pay and the new ordinary time rate for the number of weeks of notice still owing.

  13.3   Severance pay

  13.3.1         In addition to the period of notice prescribed for termination at law an employee whose employment is terminated by reason of redundancy must be paid, the following amount of severance pay in respect of a continuous period of service:

PERIOD OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE Severance pay - 1 YEAR OR LESS = nil - 1 YEAR AND UP TO THE COMPLETION OF 2 YEARS = 4 weeks’ pay - 2 YEARS AND UP TO THE COMPLETION OF 3 YEARS = 6 weeks’ pay - 3 years and up to the completion of 4 years = 7 weeks’ pay - 4 years and over = 8 weeks’ pay

13.3.2     Week’s pay means the ordinary time rate of pay of the employees’ concerned.

13.3.3     Provided that the severance payments shall not exceed the amount which the employee would have earned if employment with the employer had proceeded to the employee’s normal retirement date.

13.4   Employee leaving during notice period

An employee whose employment is terminated by reason of redundancy may terminate the employment during the period of notice and, if so, will be entitled to the same benefits and payments under this clause had they remained with the employer until the expiry of such notice. However, in this circumstance the employee will not be entitled to payment in lieu of notice.

13.5   Alternative employment

An employer, in a particular redundancy case, may make application to the Commission to have the general severance pay prescription varied if the employer obtains acceptable alternative employment for an employee.

13.6   Time off during notice period

13.6.1     During the period of notice of termination given by the employer an employee shall be allowed up to one day‘s time off without loss of pay during each week of notice for the purpose of seeking other employment.

13.6.2         If the employee has been allowed paid leave for more than one day during the notice period for the purpose of seeking other employment, the employee shall, at the request of the employer, be required to produce proof of attendance at an interview or the employee shall not receive payment for the time absent. For this purpose a statutory declaration will be sufficient.

13.7   Superannuation benefits

13.7.1     Where an employee who is terminated receives a benefit from a superannuation scheme, the employee shall only receive under clause 13.3 hereof the difference between the severance pay specified in that clause and the amount of the superannuation benefit the employee receives which is attributable to employer contributions only.

13.7.2         If the superannuation benefit is greater than the amount due under clause 13.3 hereof then he or she shall receive no payment under that clause.

13.8   Employees exempted

13.8.1     This clause shall not apply where employment is terminated as a consequence of conduct that justifies instant dismissal including inefficiency within the first fourteen days, neglect of duty or misconduct, and in the case of casual employees, apprentices or employees engaged for a specific period of time or for a specific task or tasks.

13.8.2     Notwithstanding the foregoing provision trainees who are engaged for specific period of time shall, once the traineeship is completed and provided that the trainee services are retained, have all service including the training period counted in determining entitlements. In the event that a trainee is terminated at the end of his or her traineeship and is re engaged by the same employer within six months of such termination the period of traineeship shall be counted as service in determining any future redundancy entitlements.

13.9   Employers exempted

This clause 13 in its entirety shall not apply to employers who employ fewer than fifteen employees.

13.10   Incapacity to pay

An employer, in a particular redundancy case, may make application to the Commission to have the general severance pay prescription varied on the basis of the employer’s incapacity to pay.


14.1   Procedure to avoid industrial disputation

14.1.1         In the event of a dispute arising in the workplace the procedure to be followed to resolve the matter will be as follows.

14.1.2     The employee and their supervisor meeting and conferring on the matter; and

14.1.3         If the matter is not resolved at such a meeting, the parties shall arrange for further discussions between the employee and the employee’s nominated representative, if any, and more senior levels of management.

14.1.4         If the matter is still not resolved a discussion shall be held between representatives of the organisations affiliated with the National Farmers Federation or other representative of the employer and the Union or other employee representative.

14.1.5         If the matter cannot be resolved it may be referred to the Commission.

14.1.6     While the parties attempt to resolve the matter work will continue as normal unless an employee has a reasonable concern about an imminent risk to his or her health and safety.

Part 2 - Employees other than STATION HANDS


[Pt 2:15 Engagement and contracts of shearers, etc. schedule A agreement - facilitative provision title changed and substituted by V001 ppc 06Sep99]

15.1   It is the intention of the respondents to this award to achieve the principal objectives in section 3(j) of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 by helping to prevent and eliminate discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex, sexual preference, age, physical or mentasl disability, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin.

15.2   Accordingly, in fulfilling their obligations under the settlement of disputes clause, the parties must make every endeavour t ensure that neither the award provisions nor their operation are directly discriminatory in their effects.

15.3   Nothing in this clause is to be taken to affect:

15.3.1     any different treatment (or treatment having different effects) which is specifically exempted under the Commonwealth anti-discrimination legislation;

15.3.2         an employee, employer or registered organisation pursuing matters of discrimination in any State or Federal jurisdiction, including by applications to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.


16.1   Employees engaged for work in a shed shall be engaged on a casual basis in one or more of the following categories:  

 shearer,   crutcher,   shed hand,   wool presser,   shearing cook

A composite of these categories may apply where the employee has mixed functions, save for shearers, provided as below.

16.2   Duties of shed staff

16.2.1     Shed Hand or Wool presser-shed hand

          (a) A shed hand or wool presser-shed hand may be required to work as a generally useful hand in or about the shearing shed either during the crutching or shearing or when crutching or shearing is not taking place.

(b)     Shed hands and woolpressers and/or shed hand-woolpressers shall be paid by the run provided that:

(i) on any day on which the employee attends for duty he or she shall be guaranteed a minimum daily payment for two runs except on the day of Cut Out where if work continues beyond the normal lunch break then payment shall be made for four runs;

(ii) further, if sheep are voted wet at the commencement of the third or fourth run, then they shall be paid for all completed runs on that day together with the run due to commence or partly completed at the time sheep are voted wet;

(iii) the minimum payment of two runs per day shall not apply where an employee is not required to attend for work because of wet weather, provided that the employee is advised on each preceding day that he or she shall not be required to attend, or if advised by the employer of a starting time more than 24 hours hence.

(c)     When an employee has mixed functions (eg. as woolpresser and shed hand) they shall be treated, for the purposes of calculating the employee’s pay, as if employed only to perform such of the functions as carry the higher minimum rate under this award.

(d)     Woolpresser-shed hand and shed hands shall weigh, brand, stack and carry wool to the press without extra payment.

(e)     An employer may direct a shed hand to carry out the duties of a woolpresser, provided that:

(i) The employee shall only be required to perform those duties of a woolpresser that are within the limits of that employee’s skill, competence and training;

(ii) The performance of such duties does not involve either an alteration to the employee’s classification or a major and substantial change in the duties normally performed by the employee; and

(iii) Such a direction shall be given only in the pursuit of the efficient conduct of a shearing or crutching operation in circumstances of unavailability of a contracted woolpresser for a limited period.

16.2.2     Woolpresser

(a)     A woolpresser or woolpresser-shed hand shall:

       Press with all reasonable dispatch all the wool shorn or crutched from the relevant shearing or crutching.

       Weigh, brand and stack the wool.

       Press and close the bales in the manner and, as nearly practicable, to the weight directed by the overseer, and remove all clippings and string from the inside of the bales and clear away such clippings and string and all loose wool from the portion of the shed occupied for woolpressing.

       An employer may direct a woolpresser to carry out the duties of a shed hand, provided that:

(i) the employee shall only be required to perform those duties of a shed hand that are within the limits of that employee’s skill, competence and training; and

(ii) the performance of such duties does not involve either an alteration in the employee’s classification or a major and substantial change in the duties normally performed by the employee.

16.2.3     Cooks

(a)     Cooks shall prepare and cook up to 5 meals per day, inclusive of morning and afternoon tea, for an agreed number of persons.

(b)     The total number of persons for whom an employee is to cook will not, on the average of the shearing or crutching, be less than the minimum number agreed upon nor more than the maximum number agreed upon provided that if any of the employees to be cooked for strike or willfully cease work against the direction of the employer, the employee shall be entitled to payment of wages in respect only of those employees who do not strike or cease work.

(c)     The employee will provide at the cook’s own expense such suitable assistant or assistants as may be necessary for proper cooking and serving the food.

(d)     Cooks may be engaged per half day. On the day prior to the commencement of shearing or crutching should the cook be required to prepare the evening meal or clean and prepare the kitchen for a normal start on the proceeding day, payment will be made at 50% of the daily or piecework rate.

(e)     On the day of cut out a cook will be guaranteed 50% of the daily or piecework rate.  However should shearing proceed after the normal mid day meal break a full day’s wages will be payable.

(f)      Where a cook is engaged to cook for non resident employees and prepares two smoko lunches and a midday meal he or she shall receive 50% of the daily or piecework rate.

(g)     Where subclause (f) hereof applies, employees will be required to contribute a maximum of 50% of the rate established pursuant to clause 24.1.2 of this award.

16.2.4     shearers and learner shearers

(a)     shearers shall be engaged to shear and/or crutch sheep; and

(b)     a Learner shearer shall be engaged as such on production of proof that he or she qualifies for such status.

16.2.5     Crutchers

Crutchers shall be engaged to crutch sheep, either a full crutch or other crutch.

Top of Page      Next Page