The Fair Work Commission has ruled that workers picking fruit on a piece rate must be guaranteed a minimum wage under the Horticulture Award.

A piece rate is when a worker is paid according to the amount of produce they harvest, so the more fruit or vegetables harvested the more a worker is paid.

The Australian Workers Union (AWU) lodged its claim with the commission in December and argued that every worker should be guaranteed a minimum casual rate, currently $25.41 per hour.

In its finding delivered late yesterday, the Fair Work Commission’s full bench “expressed the view that the existing pieceworker provisions in the Horticulture Award are not fit for purpose”.