The establishment of an agricultural panel charged among other things with setting farm workers’ payment rates in Wales has moved a further step forward following public consultation.
The hope is for it to be in place early next year.
Rebecca Evans, the Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Food and Farming, said on Thursday (September 10) that as a majority of respondents agreed with the Welsh Government proposals officials would now work towards finalising the provisions of the Statutory Order which would establish the panel.
She said industry organisations would be requested to select appropriate candidates from their own membership to take a seat on the panel.
“Organisations in turn will be selected in accordance with the need to maintain balanced representation of employers and employees, which all respondents have stated to be of great importance,” added Mrs Evans.
“Independent members will be selected via the public appointment process to ensure diverse, appropriately qualified and experienced persons are appointed to provide expert and independent input to the work of the panel.
“My intention is to have the panel members selected and the framework in place by February 2016.
“Once in place, the panel will play a crucial role in setting a framework of fair wages and other terms and conditions of employment for all agricultural workers in Wales, contributing towards this Government’s wider tackling poverty agenda by reducing rural poverty and supporting rural economies and communities across Wales.
“The panel will also have a role to play in promoting careers and skills development in the sector, assisting the Welsh Government’s overarching objective of modernising and further professionalising the industry in line with our strategic framework for agriculture.”