9 April 2018

Welsh Agricultural Workers See Wages Increase

On 1 April 2018 the Agricultural Wages (Wales) Order 2018 brought in new minimum pay levels for all grades of agricultural workers in Wales.

The 2018 Order makes the following changes:

  • The new rates for Grade 1 workers of compulsory school age and those over 25 are £3.47 and £7.83 (in line with national minimum wage) respectively (which is an increase of 4%).
  • The rate for Grade 1 workers aged 16 to 24 is now £7.38 (which is an increase of 5%).
  • The rate for Grade 2 (qualified) workers have been raised by 10% to £8.29.
  • The rates of Grades 3 to 6 workers have been raised by 4-7% and are now £8.54 (Grade 3 – qualified with experience), £9.16 (Grade 4 – qualified with greater experience), £9.70 (Grade 5 – Supervisors) and £10.48 (Grade 6 – Management).

There are also other increased allowances which do not form part of the workers’ remuneration:

  • a dog allowance of £8.02 per dog to be paid weekly where an agricultural worker is required by their employer to keep one or more dogs;
  • on-call allowance of a sum which is equivalent to two times the hourly overtime rate;
  • a night work allowance of £1.52 for each hour of night work; and
  • a birth and adoption grant of £63.09 for each child.

The Order also makes provision for time off, sick pay and overtime, which remains unchanged as agricultural workers must be remunerated for overtime at not less than 1.5 times the minimum pay rate.

Working as we do frequently with clients whose land is split over the English and Welsh border there is often an issue of how the Welsh provisions apply to cross-border agricultural land. The policy of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Division of the Welsh Government and Defra has been that: 

  • For a business based in England but whose workers may work in Wales on a limited ad hoc basis, National Minimum Wage (NMW) conditions will apply; and
  • For a business based in Wales but whose workers may work in England on a limited ad hoc basis, the rates applicable to Agricultural Wages in Wales apply.

This advice is, of course, general and based on the assumption that workers are usually working in the country where the business is based.

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About the Author
Guy Hollebon, Senior Associate Solicitor
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