Doing farm work in Australia can be an excellent employment opportunity for international students looking for short-term, seasonal work. As we reported recently, international student farmworkers are eligible to work over 40 hours per fortnight, and temporary visa holders can extend their stay by working in the agricultural sector. You can read more about farm work in Australia as an international student here.
In addition to these benefits, Agriculture Victoria has announced a Seasonal Harvest Sign-on Bonus of $2,430 for completing eight week’s work on a farm (on top of your regular wage). Here’s what you need to know about the Seasonal Harvest Sign-on Bonus.
Why is this bonus being offered?
In Victoria, The Big Victorian Harvest has been developed by the Victorian Government to support farms during this time with extra workers. By working as a part of The Big Victorian Harvest, you are could be eligible for the Seasonal Harvest Sign-on bonus.
How does the bonus work?
Job seekers who take on a seasonal harvest job on a Victorian farm on or after Wednesday 17 February 2021 can apply for a Seasonal Harvest Sign-on Bonus. The $2,430 bonus is paid in two instalments:
- Bonus 1: $810, after 10 days’ work within a 30-day period
- Bonus 2: $1,620, after an additional 30 days’ work within a 90-day period.
You can only receive this bonus once.
(Source: Agriculture Victoria)
Am I eligible for the bonus?
There are certain eligibility requirements you must meet to be able to access the Seasonal Harvest Sign-on Bonus. You must:
- Have the right to work in Australia
- Be working on a farm that produces fruit, dried fruit, vegetables, olives, nuts, wine grapes, hops or herbs
- Be working on-farm in picking, packing and harvesting activities, including operating harvest machinery
- Start work on a Victorian farm on or after 17 February 2021
- Not be employed under the Pacific Labour Scheme or Seasonal Worker Programme.
The Agriculture Victoria website provides all the information regarding eligibility requirements and how to apply for this bonus.
How can I apply?
You can apply for the Seasonal Harvest Sign-on Bonus here.
When applying, you will need to provide evidence of your employment and that you’ve met the work requirements. So, make sure that you have the following on hand:
- Evidence that confirms the separate days you worked, for example:
- – Employer-approved timesheets
- – Records from the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Record my Hours app
- The name of your employer and their contact details
- The addresses of the farm sites you worked at.
How can I find farm work?
As with any type of work, it’s crucial that you find an employer who is credible and trustworthy. The Australian Government has set up Harvest Trail, which allows you to find jobs available in your state, useful facts on what to expect and resources on how to stay safe at work. For international students in Victoria interested in looking for farm work, head to The Big Victorian Harvest website.