The Team Leader is responsible for supervising the shearing team from the time the team leaves the Base, while on the client’s property, and until the team returns to the Base. The Team Leader is the MSL representative on the job and is responsible for client liaison. The Team Leader is regarded by MSL as a critical member of the team.
The Team Leader is usually also a shearer (see the Shearer’s Job Description). The position involves some camp-out jobs, and some travel jobs.
Reports to: The Team Leader reports to the Operations Manager. At times, there may be a designated Overseer - in which case the Team Leader reports to the Overseer. If the Team Leader has any grievances concerning the Overseer, the Team Leader should take those grievances to the Operations Manager. Remuneration is to be discussed with the Operations Manager.
Staff Reporting to Team Leader: All shearers and shedhands (woolhandlers, including head woolhandlers, pressers, daggers and cooks) in the team employed by MSL, report to the Team Leader. The Head Woolhandler supervises the woolhandlers and pressers in the shed. The Team Leader may be consulted when reviewing pay rates for woolhandlers and pressers in the team.
Condition of Employment The MSL Team Operations Manual, MSL employment agreement, and MSL Health & Safety Manual should be read in conjunction with this Job Description. The employment conditions contained in these documents apply to the job of Team Leader.
Duties and Responsibilities
Monitoring sheep supply
Meal and Rations
Team Leader bag
Reporting to Operations Manager
Health & Safety
Incident and misconduct reporting
1. Team Management
When the overseer or Operations Manager visits the job and notices it is not being done in accordance with the MSL Team Operation Manual or Employee Job Descriptions, he will ask the Team Leader to explain. This includes:
On travel jobs, ensure you have the correct team numbers before leaving MSL Base. If not, then immediately contact the office or the Operations Manager. If there are two vans it is your responsibility to see that all team members are accounted for.
On camp-out jobs ensure you have a full team before you start work. If not, contact the office or Operations Manager immediately.
On camp-out, wake the team half an hour before the scheduled start. Ensure all shearers are in the shed and ready for shearing 5 minutes before the start time.
Ensure team members are fulfilling their roles, as given in their job descriptions and following the MSL Team Operations Manual. The Team Leader is expected to know and understand the job descriptions for all team members. Copies of job descriptions are in the MSL Team Operations Manual. You will probably have friends within the team, but when it comes to conduct and workmanship of your team, you are expected to maintain MSL standards. This is part of being a leader.
Be prepared to supervise learner shearers: help and give advice on shearing techniques and ensure their shearing is up to MSL Shearing Standards. You may be asked to train learners on a monthly basis. New learners should be placed beside Team Leaders when shearing.
Ensure the team is working efficiently and doing as many full days as possible. Try to always keep the team productive.
An employee may decide to stop work due to full, wet, and daggy sheep if he has safety concerns. If a shearer wishes to carry on shearing when others have chosen not to due to full, wet, or daggy sheep, his rights must be respected as much as those who choose to not carry on shearing. At times, the Team Leader will have to decide whether to stop the whole crew - or whether to let the individuals that wish to work carry on.
Shearers must start and finish on time (according to the clock in the Team Leader’s bag). The Team Leader can reasonably require the team to work extended hours to help with shed management, for example to finish a cutout.
The presser may get paid for working through breaks and after time, at the discretion of the Team Leader. The Team Leader decides this by assessing how much effort the presser or pressers have put in during the run and during the day. It may help to consult the Head Woolhandler.
Shearing plant breakdowns are to be sorted out immediately. A learner shearer may need to stand down - or else the Team Leader may need to stand down. Advise the client immediately and get in touch with the Operations Manager as soon as possible. He may be able to help.
Ensure both shearer to woolhandler, and shearer to presser ratios are maintained. Consult with the Head Woolhandler if a woolhandler or presser needs to stand down (e.g. when shearing rams, if a shearer is injured, shearing plant breaks down, or there is a change from ewes to lambs). If there are too many shearers, any learner shearers should stand down followed by the Team Leader.
When necessary, support the Head Woolhandler with supervision of other woolhandlers and pressers.
The Team Leader may send a team member back to MSL Base for serious misconduct, as set out in the MSL Team Operations Manual. The Operations Manager must be contacted as soon as possible.
2. Work Quality
Ensure the shearing quality is up to the MSL Shearing and Crutching Standards (as given in the attached Shearers’ Job Description). It is up to the Team Leader to periodically check the shearing standards both on the board, and in the counting out pens each day.
Take a count of any tits, hamstrings or deaths each run. These faults are a major concern to clients. You may have to take drastic action - e.g. telling the shearer they have to start paying for the damage, or standing a shearer down. Keep asking the client if there has been any damage to stock. When you think an excessive number have been injured, contact the Operations Manager ASAP.
Deal with any person who is physically abusing stock. If they have already received a first warning you may send them back to MSL Base immediately. Let the Operations Manager know as soon as possible, and also record any deaths and serious injuries on the job card.
Be aware of the quality of the work done by the shed staff. The Team Leader is ultimately responsible for all work done within the team.
Where a classer is present in the shed, the classer determines the standard of wool preparation. The classer may request wool to be reworked and in extreme cases, may call a stop to all shearing at the shed.
3. Monitoring Sheep Supply
Find out from the Operations Manager/Client the work description before starting a job and tell the team before starting work eg. job description, tallies etc. The Operations Manger should have given you this information before you leave for work.
Liaise with the client, manager or shepherd to achieve continuity of work. Any problems in this area, contact the Operations Manager.
Let the Head Woolhandler and pressers know when cutouts are.
Be aware of the weather. If it is doubtful for shearing at the present shed, then contact the Operations Manager to discuss options. Ensure the client keeps the shed full of sheep if it looks like rain is coming. If the client is not around the shed, you may consider getting the team to shed up. This has to be done with extreme care to avoid smothering and spooking sheep.
Endeavour to finish a job at the end of a full day. Be aware of sheep numbers still to shear, especially three days before completion. Whenever possible, move between sheds at night.
4. Client Liaison
Meet the client (if possible) at the start of the job. Confirm the job instructions and ask if any sheep are to be raddled (e.g. for crook udders, wethers). Ask if the client or the client’s employees wish to have meals with the team (they will need their own drinking cups).
Ensure the Client’s Tally Book is on hand
Ask the client to advice of any mob or wool changes as the job progresses.
Introduce the shearers and Head Woolhandler to the client. During the job, introduce any new team members who arrives to the client and the team.
On arrival at a camp-out job, check that the client has supplied oil. If not, notify the client.
Insist that the team is courteous and respectful to the client and the client’s employees and family at all times. The Team Leader is the only person who may confront a client. This is to be done in a professional manner.
Approach the client when the shed is running out of room to store bales. The client will arrange to either remove or stack bales. If there is only one presser in the shed, he is not expected to stack bales without client help. If there are two pressers in the shed you can expect them to stack two high.
Notify the client if any of the shearing plant is not functioning correctly.
At the end of the job, see the client (if possible) and thank them for the work. Advise the client where the Tally Book and Bale Book have been left.
The Team Leader is required to represent MSL in a professional and competent manner and to portray an image that reflects favourably on the company.
People travelling to work in a van are responsible for unpacking the stores. Do your best to ensure this is done. Near the end of a job (if you can), you may send a shed staff member over to the quarters to help the cook pack up and pack the trailer. If this is not possible, ensure the team help pack the trailer.
Ensure the team is fed properly. You may need to instruct the cook as to how to improve meals – e.g. more variety, better quality, alter the quantities, etc. The cook may need to use the daily set menu from Mabel’s Cookbook.
The client or the client’s employees may wish to have meals prepared by the cook. They are always welcome to share meals with the team. Advise the cook of extra numbers for catering.
Ensure the stores order is rung through to the MSL Base on Sunday & Thursday nights. The order should be based on the completed stores checklist the cook gives you. The cook decides what items are required - it may be based on a menu plan for the following three days. You may insist this is done.
On Travel Jobs:
Ensure the presser has put the day’s meals in the vans. If you are picking up a presser on the way to work or there is no presser when you leave MSL’s Base, you may need to load the van yourself. The presser should unload the box at the end of the day.
Notify the head cook or Operations Manager if the meals being supplied to your team are of insufficient quantity or quality.
The Team Leader is responsible for driving the MSL van to and from the client’s shed, and if required while out on the job. The Team Leader must sign a MSL Vehicle Driving Policy each year and must notify management if at any stage they no longer have a current full driver’s licence.
The Team Leader must ensure that if any other person is required to drive the MSL vehicle, they must have a current full driver’s licence and have read and signed a MSL Vehicle Driving Policy.
Any traffic fines incurred by the driver are the driver’s responsibility and cost. Fines may be deducted from wages.
Ensure the oil and water is checked before every use of MSL vehicles by team members on campouts.
On camp-out you may authorize the team to use MSL vehicles once a week for non-work use. If you don’t think the team deserves this right for any reason, you may revoke it. Drivers of MSL vehicles are not to consume any alcohol while on work or non-work related trips.
Any problems with MSL vehicles should be reported to the Operations Manager as soon as possible.
7. Client Quarters (camp-out jobs)
The Team Leader is responsible for ensuring the cleanliness and tidiness of the client’s quarters and surrounding area during a job. You may ask others in the team to help.
On arrival at the quarters, check to see that the quarters are clean and tidy. If not, then get the team to tidy team up. Notify the Operations Manager at the first opportunity and make note on the Job Card. The client can then be approached to fix the problem.
Ensure the team clean and tidy the quarters at the end of the job. The Team Leader should be last to leave the property and should ensure the quarters have been left in an acceptable state.
8. Job Cards
The Team Leader has responsibility for the Job Card and its correct completion. The Job Card should be picked up from the office before travelling out to the job. If you arrive at the job and find you do not have the Job Card, contact the Operations Manager or the MSL Office.
Job cards are to be completed accurately and neatly. The Operations Manager should have shown you how to fill these out correctly.
Record on the Job Card any maintenance needed on the shed or in the quarters.
Record on the Job Card any accidents or injuries to employees, not matter how minor. If there are no accidents or injuries at the job during the work period covered by the Job Card, then sign the declaration statement that states this.
Where a woolhandler or presser in the team has been sent to a job and is unable to work for any reason (e.g. sickness, injury, arrives late) and a replacement is not available, the wage of the vacant position is split between the team members who are covering the position. The Team Leader should note details on the Job Card (i.e. hours covered). The MSL office will adjust wages accordingly.
Job Cards should be sent to either Taihape or Taumarunui office as soon as possible after completion of the job. Job cards must be sent through every Sunday night, whether the job is completed or not.
9. Team Leader’s Bag
The Team Leader is responsible for looking after the items in the Team Leader’s Bag and ensuring the bag contains all listed items at the start of each job (items are listed on the Stores Order Form). The bag must always be in the shed with you as it contains the First Aid Kit.
10. Reporting to Operations Manager
From a camp-out the Team Leader must regularly report to the Operations Manager. Use the 0800 phone number if calling from outside the local calling area. Where a replacement worker is needed, the call needs to be made as soon as possible - and certainly before 5.30pm.
11. Health & Safety Duties
As part of the MSL Health & Safety programme the Team Leader is responsible to:
Ensure that all onsite hazards are identified, assessed and controlled
Ensure that safe working/operating practices are maintained
Provide both on-the-job training for employees and training in Workplace Safety Management Practices.
Assess staff performance and compliance with Health & Safety procedures
Communicate Health & Safety information to all onsite staff
Maintain a current Workplace First Aid Certificate
Be the emergency warden for the shed at which the team is working
Record accurately all accidents and incidents on the MSL Job Card
Incident and misconduct reporting
Incidents and misconduct need to be reported to management, either that evening or immediately it happens.
12. Shearing Duties
The Team Leader is also a shearer. The Team Leader is paid a Team Leader’s Bonus for every sheep shorn by the team and also an amount for any sheep he personally shears. Where there is a conflict between the Team Leader’s duties and his duties as a shearer, the Team Leader’s duties are expected to take precedence. The Team Leader may find it necessary to stand down from his shearing stand to attend to his/her duties.
The Team Leader’s shearing responsibilities are as outlined in the Shearer’s Job Description.