Changes to agricultural wages order come in to effect

From 1 April onwards the minimum hourly rate for all agricultural workers, irrespective of age and duties, is £8.91

With changes to the Wages Order coming in on the 1 April, NFU Scotland is encouraging its members who will be affected to read over the new Order and direct any questions they have to the Union.

The Scottish Agricultural Wages Board (SAWB) is an Executive Non-departmental Public Body established under the Agricultural Wages (Scotland) Act 1949, for the purpose of setting minimum wages and other conditions of service for agricultural workers. NFU Scotland has five representatives on the SAWB.

From 1 April onwards the minimum hourly rate for all agricultural workers, irrespective of age and duties, is £8.91. This is an increase of 19 pence per hour (2.2%) and is equal to the UK Government’s 2021 National Living Wage hourly rate.

Workers who undertake an SCQF Level 4 or 5 or equivalent in Agriculture/Horticulture will see a minimum hourly rate of £5.58 – an increase of 12 pence per hour (2.2%) compared to the previous year.

Dog allowance will be £6.57 per week for each dog up to a maximum of 4. This is an increase of 14 pence (2.2%) compared to the previous year.

Further changes include an increase to additional sum and accommodation offset rate for accommodation other than a house.

No change has been made to the calculation for overtime.

Due to the amendments to the base minimum rate, the minimum hourly overtime rate for all workers is £13.37. This is an increase of 29 pence compared to the previous year.

Details of these changes to the Wages Order can be found in the latest Business Guide Update from NFU Scotland.

If you have any queries about what the new Wages Order may mean for your business and staff, there is support available. Queries should be directed to the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board Helpline on 0300 244 9749; alternatively, members can contact the Union or use their member benefits to speak with specialist professional services, such as the free legal helpline or HR services.

Scott Walker, NFU Scotland Chief Executive, said

We are reminding the industry that from 1 April a new minimum rate of pay for agricultural workers comes into effect. The Government has increased the national living wage and the Wages Board have agreed the headline minimum rate of pay for agricultural workers will be in line with this rate at £8.91 per hour.

There are many different jobs in farming. With the entry level wage equal to the national living wage set by the UK Government, and there being many opportunities for skilled and experienced workers to earn an excellent salary, working in farming has never been more rewarding.

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