Harvest sign-on bonus extended

Harvest sign-on bonus extended

Horticulture
SIGN ON BONUS: Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas says the government has extended the Summer Seasonal Harvest Sign-On Bonus.

SIGN ON BONUS: Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas says the government has extended the Summer Seasonal Harvest Sign-On Bonus.

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The Victorian government has extended its Seasonal Sign-On bonus.

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The Victorian government's popular Seasonal Sign-On bonus has again been extended, with horticulture businesses across the state set to receive extra support in time for this summer's harvest.

Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas encouraged workers new to agriculture to take up a role as part of the Summer Seasonal Harvest Sign-On Bonus.

It allows workers to receive $2,430 on top of their wage for 40 days' work.

"Sign-on bonuses have helped thousands of people to become skilled horticulture workers while supporting hundreds of businesses across the state to manage their peak harvest period," Ms Thomas said.

"The Sign-On Bonus program demonstrates there are local workers ready and willing to take on harvest work and we encourage them to come forward over summer."

She said the bonus was available now and would encourage new workers into horticulture while also supporting those sectors of the industry preparing for their peak harvest in the coming months.

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Employers and farmers in sectors such as stone fruit, berries and cherries will be able to use the Summer Seasonal Harvest Sign-On Bonus until the end of the year to attract new pickers and packers.

New workers need to complete 10 days' work and apply for the first installment of the bonus within 30 days.

They then have 90 days to complete an additional 30 days' work in order to receive the extra $1,620 of the bonus.

The government anticipated around 1,100 new workers would receive the bonus to support the upcoming harvest.

Since it was launched in February, more than 3,300 workers have received the first $810 installment of the bonus for completing 10 days' work, with more than 2,200 of these workers receiving the full payment.

Nearly 40 per cent of recipients said the main reason they applied for a harvest job was the $2,430 bonus, and more than 95 per cent said they planned to continue to work in key horticulture regions through the seasonal harvest.

More than $6.2 million in bonuses has been paid to date, with workers picking, packing and pruning in sectors including vegetables, citrus, grapes, olives and nuts.

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