Agricultural workers could benefit from a pay increase of up to 8.5% from April 1st of this year.
That is according to the Agricultural Wages Board for Northern Ireland, which has, today (Thursday), announced proposed increases to the minimum wage rates for agricultural workers.
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.
Its latest announcement comes following a board meeting on January 20th, 2023.
Moreover, as per the board’s proposed increase to existing minimum rates for agricultural workers, the proposed new rates are:
Minimum rate, applicable for the first 40 weeks of cumulative employment – £7.54 per hour
- 2 – Standard worker – £8.13 per hour;
- 3 – Lead worker – £10.16 per hour;
- 4 – Craft Grade – £10.92 per hour;
- 5 – Supervisory Grade – £11.49 per hour;
- 6 – Farm Management Grade – £12.48 per hour.
In this news article, That’s Farming looked at the 2022 rates.
National minimum wage or national living wage
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, the statement reads.
Furthermore, the board proposes increasing the accommodation offset by 8.5% to £51.27 per week.
In addition to the above, the board proposes 3 days of bereavement leave following the death of a close family member.
Any objections to the above proposals should be sent to AWB Secretariat, 2nd Floor, Jubilee House, 111 Ballykelly Road, Limavady, BT49 9HO, or via email to [email protected] to arrive on or before Friday, March 10th, 2023.
The board will meet again on March 16th, 2023, 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, 2023.
The board comprises 15 members:
- Three members appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, one of whom is Chair of the Board (one position is currently vacant);
- six members nominated by the Ulster Farmers’ Union as representatives of agricultural employers; and
- Six members nominated by Unite the Union as representatives of agricultural workers’ interests.