Human Resources and Work Health & Safety

The HR & WHS module for myBMP now includes the areas of industrial relations and worker safety in order to assist in managing one of the most valuable assets of a farm business, the people.

Within this module is the guidance to help you firstly meet your legal obligations around employing staff, and secondly, put in place procedures to help you optimise employee productivity in a safe environment.

This module focuses on all aspects of employing staff, whether they are family members, employees or contractors. It offers practical ways to improve your ability to attract, retain, manage and protect your team.

This module is packed full of templates and resources you can download to make the job of staff management a lot easier. These include:

  • Summary of current employment legislation;
  • Draft position descriptions;
  • Templates for recruitment ads and interview questions;
  • Guidelines on what questions you cannot ask during interview (discrimination);
  • Templates for advising unsuccessful job candidates;
  • Induction templates;
  • Probation periods and reviewing performance templates;
  • Guidelines on and templates for conducting (and recording) a performance review.
  • A workplace Health and Safety Plan and Policy
  • Training requirements
  • Risk assessment to eliminate hazards in the workplace
  • Record keeping


Key Area: Human Resources

A recruitment process is used to employ people

Check List:

Level 1

New employees are informed of any probationary periods

Level 2

Position descriptions are written for all levels of employee positions

Level 3

A formalised recruitment strategy is in place that includes: position advertisement, job application forms, reference checks, preparing for interviews, offer of employment, letter of engagement, the probationary period and end of probationary period, unsuccessful candidate letter

Contractors are managed appropriately

Check List:

Level 1

A contractor agreement is in place and signed including terms and conditions applicable to any employees of the contractor. The 'terms of service' have been confirmed (e.g. timing, costs, conditions, workers compensation insurance)

Level 1

The difference between an employee and a contractor has been established

Training, career development and farm succession planning

Check List:

Level 1 All staff members hold the relevant training / qualifications required to perform the tasks they are employed to do
Level 3

The transfer of ownership and management of the farm is planned

Level 3 A mentoring process is in place
Level 3

A skills audit has been conducted and staff are provided flexibility to undertake "in house" and or external training

Level 3

An opportunity for career path development is provided for staff

Inductions for new employees and contractors are provided by the employer

Check List:

Level 1

All new employees and contractors receive an induction at the start of employment. A record should be kept

Employers ensure employees are legally entitled to work in Australia

Check List:

Level 1

Employers must ensure all employees are legally entitled to work in Australia

Level 1

The individual has freely chosen to be employed

A process is in place for ending an employee's employment

Check List:

Level 1

Management is aware of the minimum notice periods for ending employment

Level 1

End of employment entitlements are calculated correctly

Level 1

End of employment by the employer must be notified in writing

Level 1

Ending employment (e.g. redundancy, termination, resignation) must be carried out according to the Fair Dismissal Code as a minimum standard

Level 2

Exit interviews are conducted with staff upon leaving (either by management or by a third party) and documented to enable continuous improvement in staff management

A process is in place to manage employee performance and ensure fair treatment of employees

Check List:

Level 1

Conflict and disputes are managed according to the dispute resolution process in the relevant award

Level 2 There is a process for employees to give suggestions and feedback
Level 3

Employees are recognised through a reward system 

Wages and Conditions - awards, agreements and employee entitlements are in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009

Check List:

Level 1

The farm business understands the National Employment Standards which outlines the minimum entitlements for employees in Australia

Level 1

Employees are employed under:

  • the relevant award; or
  • a common law employment contract; or
  • individual flexibility agreements; and

their employment is in accordance with the minimum employment entitlements as per the National Employment Standards. A record should be kept

Level 1 All new employees are provided with a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement
Level 1

Employee information records are kept and maintained

Level 1

Payslips must be provided to all employees and include all relevant information


Key Area: Work Health and Safety

A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) must ensure the health, safety and welfare of workers (employees and contractors) under State Work Health and Safety law.  All cotton growers have legal obligations and duties to ensure people are not injured or harmed whilst at work

Check List:

Level 1

All people in the farm business are aware of legal obligations and duties to ensure people are not injured or harmed whilst at work

Level 1

A Work Health and Safety policy has been developed and displayed in the workplace.  The policy is supplied to all workers (employees and contractors)

Level 1

Workers (employees and contractors) are consulted and participate in the business health and safety management. Records kept of consultation with workers (e.g. safety meetings, tool box talk)

Level 1

All workers (employees and contractors) are provided suitable training, instruction and supervision so they can operate machinery and equipment competently. Records of training are kept

Level 1 All workers (employees and contractors) who operate High Risk Plant need a High Risk Work Licence
Level 1 The farm business must provide and maintain facilities (e.g. toilets, drinking water, hand washing, eating facilities and providing first aid)
Level 1

A farm emergency plan must be developed. The plan includes all types of farm emergencies, is available to workers and is on display in the workplace

Level 1 There must be people trained to provide First Aid in the workplace
Level 1

Records are kept of all workplace incidents (definition: serious injury or illness, death or dangerous incident and first aid treatment)

Level 2

A work health and safety plan has been developed and communicated to staff

Level 3 The farm business has a written farm health and safety plan that is based on Australian Standard AS 4801 - Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems

The workplace is regularly inspected to identify and eliminate hazards in the workplace

Check List:

Level 1

A work health and safety action plan is developed for all hazards with significant risk

Level 1

All new and second hand machinery purchased is inspected and hazards are assessed and controlled before being used on farm

Level 1

All machinery is regularly serviced and maintained so that it is safe. A record is kept of machinery maintenance (e.g. Rego checks, diary, WHS meetings)

Level 1 Portable electrical equipment (power tools) are regularly inspected and tested to ensure it is safe to use. Residual current devices are installed on all power boards to protect workers from electrocution. Records are kept for portable electrical equipment and RCD testing. (Note: NSW and QLD have different requirements)
Level 1

Personal Protective Equipment is provided, regularly checked and it is safe to use

Level 1

First Aid kits are available and accessible.  They are regularly checked and a record is kept (e.g. diary, WHS meeting)