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Federated Farmers Employment Contract Disputes

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The Federated Farmers Employment Contract is commonly used by farmer employers. We represent employers in employment disputes where problems arise with these contracts. The correct preparation and execution of the Federated Farmers Employment Agreement is important for the farmer employers that use them.

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Federated farmer employer mistakes

There are fatal and avoidable mistakes that we have seen farming employers make when using the Federated Farmers Employment Contract. What happens often is that two booklets of the contract get sent out to the employer to fill out and present to their new employee. In every case we have seen farmers make significant mistakes, such as:

  • Not filling out the employment agreement in full when there are many spaces provided.
  • The employer puts their personal name as party to the employment relationship, not their company.
  • Not filling out the tenancy agreement portion, including not documenting the farmhouse inspection that was undertaken.
  • Failing to accurately define what farmhouse rent is and document the correct amount of deductions for farmhouse rent.
  • Not filling in what the normal hours of work are and what breaks the employee is entitled to.
  • Not filling in the availability provision and the what the reasonable compensation for being available outside normals is.
  • Not filling out in detail the details of the employee's job description is exactly.
  • Where there is a trial period provision, having the employee perform work or relief milking before giving the employee the contract to sign.
  • Where there is a trial period provision to be relied upon, failing to give the five days written notice; and failing to pay it properly.
  • Failing to bargain in good faith, which includes allowing the employee to move onto the farm before giving the employee the opportunity to get advice on the contract before moving in or starting work.

Federated Farmers are now moving to use this employment agreement as an online template that the farmer employer makes up online. Good luck with that. If employer farmers cannot fill out a booklet properly then how can these federated farmer employers be expected to do it online?

Last Updated: February 26, 2023 0800 WIN KIWI