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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Pay rise for agricultural workers

The Agricultural Wages Board for Northern Ireland has announced proposed increases to the minimum wage rates for agricultural workers.

At a meeting on January 15th, 2021, the board proposed to increase existing minimum rates for agricultural workers for all grades by 1% from 1 April 2021.

Therefore, the proposed new rates are:
  • Minimum rate, applicable for the first 40 weeks cumulative employment – £6.95 per hour
  • 2 – Standard worker – £7.49 per hour
  • 3 – Lead worker – £8.91 per hour
  • 4 – Craft Grade – £9.58 per hour
  • 5 – Supervisory Grade – £10.09 per hour
  • 6 – Farm Management Grade – £10.95 per hour

Should the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage, as applicable, become higher than the hourly rates set out above then the hourly or other minimum rate will default to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage, whichever applies.

Any objections to the above proposals should be sent to: AWB Secretariat, 1st Floor, Ballykelly House, 111 Ballykelly Road, Limavady, BT49 9HO, or where possible, given Covid circumstances, via email to [email protected]  to arrive on or before Friday, March 5th, 2021.

The Board will meet again on March 12th, 2021 to consider any objections to the proposals and may make an Order to give effect to the new rates and other amendments which would come into operation on April 1st, 2021.

The definitions for the grades and the qualifications required for each grade area.  Access last year’s rates.


The Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) was established under the terms of the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 1977, to regulate the minimum rates of wages, and other related matters, for workers in agriculture.

The board consists of 15 members:

  • Three members appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.  One is chair of the board (one position is currently vacant);
  • Six members nominated by the Ulster Farmers’ Union as representatives of agricultural employers; and
  • A further six members nominated by Unite the Union as representatives of agricultural workers’ interests.
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