Job seekers who have started in a seasonal harvest job on a Victorian horticulture farm since 17 February 2021 could be eligible to apply for their first $810 payment under the Seasonal Harvest Sign-on Bonus. The application portal is now open
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.
The new incentive – designed to attract local jobseekers to take up seasonal harvest work – is available to workers of all ages, including school leavers and students under 18.
In additional to the work requirements, to be eligible for the Seasonal Harvest Sign-on Bonus, workers must also:
- have not worked on-farm in Victoria’s agriculture sectors (dairy, livestock, grains and horticulture) in the past three months
- start a harvest job on or after 17 February 2021
- have work rights in Australia
- not be employed under the Pacific Labour Scheme or Seasonal Worker Programme.
Workers don’t need to apply for the bonus until completing their first 10 days of work. All they need to do in the meantime is keep evidence of their employment and work hours – such as payslips, timesheets or via Fair Work's Record My Hours app.
We encourage employers to read the program guidelines and ensure their workers are provided with a compliant payslip. Employers may also receive a phone call from Agriculture Victoria to verify applicants’ employment and the validity of timesheets or other supporting documents attached to an application.
Eligible industries and roles
The sign-on bonus is applicable to the following industries: fruit, dried fruit, vegetables, olives, nuts, wine grapes.
The sign-on bonus is focussed on supporting the industries most affected by workforce shortages and which urgently require the greatest number of workers to support their harvest. As such, nurseries, turf and cut flowers are not eligible industries for the sign-on bonus.
Eligible work includes activities associated with the picking, packing, harvesting and related activities of seasonal produce including pruning, cartmen, tractor drivers and sweepers.
It does not include post farmgate storage, further processing or distribution activities that occur post-production.