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What minimum rates of pay are agricultural workers entitled to?

It depends where they work.

• Scottish workers are entitled to the new rates of agricultural wages which came into force on 1 October 2015. Agricultural wage rates can be higher than national minimum wage rates.
• Agricultural workers in England employed after 1 October 2013 are entitled to the national minimum wage.
• Agricultural workers in Wales, and those employed in England before 1 October 2013 if their contract provides for it, are entitled to the agricultural wage rates specified on the UK Government website.

Picture of a farm house

Scottish agricultural wages
On 1 October 2015, the Agricultural Wages (Scotland) Order (No.63) 2015 came into force, increasing the minimum rates of pay that agricultural workers are entitled to. These rates apply to all types of worker and irrespective of what kind of work is carried out. The Scottish Government has published a guide to help employers and workers understand the changes which can be accessed here.

The new headline rates agreed by the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board are:
• A minimum hourly rate of £6.70 for all workers in the first 26 weeks of employment (an increase of 20p per hour).
• A minimum hourly rate of £7.24 for all workers employed for more than 26 weeks by the same employer (an increase of 10p per hour).
• A minimum hourly rate of £10.05 for overtime (payable after working more than 8 hours on any day and for more than 39 hours in any week) for all workers in the first 26 weeks of employment (an increase of 30p per hour).
• A minimum hourly overtime rate of £10.86 for all workers employed for more than 26 weeks by the same employer (an increase of 15p per hour).
• A minimum hourly rate of £4.02 for workers who undertake a Level 2 modern apprenticeship in agriculture/horticulture (an increase of 6p per hour).
• An additional sum of £1.10 per hour payable to workers who have been with the same employer for more than 26 weeks and who have an appropriate qualification in agriculture or production horticulture (an increase of 2p per hour).

It is anticipated that the Order will be amended early next year, to ensure that the minimum rates comply with the new living wage which comes into force in April 2016.

Stacey Gourley and Julie Keir

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