An industry leader known for dealing with fiery produce has praised a new platform for delivering that extra spice dodgy operators find too hot to handle.
One of Australia’s largest chilli producers says it is sick and tired of rogue operators giving the agricultural and the labour hire industry a bad name, and it has decided enough is enough.
Austchilli says the only way it can make a change is to encourage the use of a national directory list of who to work with and, perhaps more significantly, who to avoid.
Austchilli Bundaberg Group Operations Manager Terry Lutteral applauded RCSA for developing StaffSure, a certification program developed with industries that use employment providers, governments that regulate them, unions that employ workers within them and certification experts.
Through independent auditing, StaffSure looks at six business integrity elements such as Fit and Proper Persons, Work Status and Remuneration, Financial Assurance, Safe Work, Immigration and Accommodation. When a provider passes the audit it is listed on the StaffSure website as a certified provider that is committed to the protection of workers.
“As an employer, StaffSure gives us confidence that the correct measures are put in place and that it’s not just a program that has alternative motives or may, after years, not be a priority,” Lutteral said. “The thoroughness of StaffSure and the fact that it is driven by the recruitment industry and not just state-based government bodies gives a lot more confidence to our business.
“While we partner with long-term suppliers that have a great reputation and do the right thing, having this directory and program will help competitors be able to better focus on looking after workers to strengthen our industry’s reputation and work towards a sustainable future.
“Furthermore, it means that everyone is playing on the same level and lifting the standard across the board.”
Fifteen per cent of Lutteral’s workforce is made up of on-site workers and with StaffSure he believes accountability will be encouraged on all sides of the supply chain.
“We definitely won’t be working with an operator who is uncertified and unlicensed,” he said. “Programs like this ensure that simple practices such as accommodation, super payments and correct pay rates, which are a key area of concern in our sector, are audited and accountability is taken for.”
Edward Milne, Manager of Workforce Solutions and Training Pathways at Bayside Group, agrees and said an industry-led program will make more of a difference and helps reputable providers stand out.
“The industry understands itself better than legislators ever can,” Milne said. “Simply looking at how hard legislators have found it to define ‘labour suppliers’ is an excellent example of how a great idea can miss the mark.
“A unified industry demonstrates to our employees, clients and law makers that we are willing to do the right thing. A small minority doing the wrong thing should not taint all providers.