Northern Ireland: Agricultural Wages in Northern Ireland – Proposals for new rates and employment terms from April 2009Monday, March 2nd, 2009
On 20 February, the Agricultural Wages Board for Northern Ireland announced proposed changes to pay and employment conditions for agricultural workers. Following a meeting on 16 January 2009, the Board proposes the removal of Age Bands (16 to 22); overtime will only be paid after an employee has worked more than 39 hours per week and the automatic right to overtime for working on a Sunday etc. will no longer apply.
The maximum amount an employer can charge for accommodation (Accommodation Offset) will be increased to £31.22 per week. This will apply to Temporary and Harvest workers currently employed in agriculture and to all workers commencing work in agriculture for the first time from 6 April 2009. The Accommodation Offset for workers, excluding Temporary and Harvest workers, employed in agriculture prior to 6 April 2009 remains at £1.50 per week.
The Board also proposes to increase existing minimum rates for agricultural workers at Grades 2 and above by 3.75%. The lowest wages pay band known as the “Minimum Rate” has not been increased. The proposed new rates are:
- Minimum Rate, applicable for the first 40 weeks cumulative employment – £5.73 per hour.
- Grade 2 – Standard worker – £6.14 per hour
- Grade 3 – Lead worker – £6.74 per hour
- Grade 4 – Craft Grade – £7.24 per hour
- Grade 5 – Supervisory Grade – £7.67 per hour
- Grade 6 – Farm Management Grade – £8.29 per hour
The Board will meet again on 20 March 2009 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 6 April 2009.
Pay increase and changes to employment conditions for agricultural workers
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