Priscilla, working holiday maker and queen of the strawberries

Labour

Tasmania's fruit producers rely on a seasonal workers to help staff carrying out seasonal tasks including picking, sorting, packing and pruning. The number of roles available varies seasonally, growing from 300 roles in winter months to almost 8000 in January.

COVID-19 has caused disruption to the entry and movement of Australia's seasonal agricultural workforce. This project seeks to help Tasmanian fruit growers to build resilience, grow the available workforce monitor industry recovery. This includes:

  • increase community awareness of the opportunities available in Tasmania's fruit industries 
  • working with businesses to understand and adjust to changing COVID-19 regulations
  • working with industry stakeholders and government to support the safe movement of essential workers to Tasmania
  • attracting and recruit new workers to the industry
  • helping businesses to get look after and get the most out of available workers
  • monitoring and inform businesses on the changing nature of seasonal labour situation

COVID-19 resources for businesses

From 15 December 2021, Tasmania’s response to COVID-19 transitions from zero cases to living in a COVID-19 vaccinated community.

It is important to get your plans in place now to make sure COVID-19 does not disrupt your business. 

The following resources will be useful for fruit growers:

All businesses operating in Tasmania are legally required to have the following business continuity plans:

  • COVID-19 Safety Plan
  • COVID-19 Outbreak Management Plan

Previously WorkSafe Tasmania visited over 5000 businesses across the State for the purpose of assessing compliance in managing the risk of COVID within the workplace. Expect a potential visit from the WorkSafe Tasmania COVID Unit.

These templates will be useful in creating or updating your business continuity plans:

Some settings need more planning than others.  The following settings have been identified as ‘priority settings’ for the purposes of COVID-19 outbreak management planning:

  • Food distribution and / or warehouse facilities with cold and / or frozen storage and those with more than 50 site workers.
  • Agricultural farms with seasonal workers from interstate / overseas.

If you are responsible for a COVID-19 priority setting (places where the virus may spread fast or management of cases or outbreaks may be complex) it is vital that you develop an enhanced outbreak management plan for your setting, building on the information in your Worksafe COVID-19 Safety Plan. A single case in a COVID-19 priority setting is likely to be considered an outbreak.

Use this template to prepare your business:

The Department of Health provides the following additional guidance for businesses categorised as priority settings:

More information can be found on the Department of Health webpage - COVID-19 Case & Outbreak Management.

For the most up-to-date COVID-19 guidance and information visit the Tasmanian Government COVID-19 website.