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National Minimum Wage: Farmers warned ahead of new changes

Farmers have been warned to make sure they were paying the correct rates to staff with the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage set to increase from April 1.

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#NationalMinimumWage: Farmers warned ahead of new changes

Chartered accountants Saffery Champness told employers to be aware of the changes, with HMRC carrying out compliance checks in the sector.

 

Employers were also advised their contributions under pension auto-enrolment increase to 2 per cent from April 6, and by a further 1 per cent from April 2019.


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Employee contributions increase to 3 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively, at those same dates.

 

Martyn Dobinson, director at Saffery Champness and specialist in the agri-business and landed estates sectors, said HMRC had been carrying out compliance checks in the sector to see minimum wage levels were being met.

 

He said: “We have no reason to believe the inspection regime will not continue.

 

“We are therefore urging all employers to be aware of the correct minimum wage levels after the changes come into force and be sure records are correct and up-to-date.

“In the rural sector, there can be complications, for example with beaters, casual workers and temporary staff, and where there is any doubt, professional advice should be sought.”

 

Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish businesses were reminded they needed to pay the agricultural minimum wage or the National Minimum Wage if it was higher.

 

Jamie Younger, partner in the Edinburgh office of Saffery Champness, said last year the agricultural wage had been increased to £7.50/hour from April 1 to keep pace with the National Living Wage.

 

Apprenticeship rates were also increased to £4.40/hour for the first year and £7.50/hour thereafter.

 

He added: “We would anticipate when the next review is announced for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that they will remain in step with the latest ’national’ increases which have been announced.”

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