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Welsh farm workers to receive 6 per cent pay rise

The Welsh Government have promised a one-off pay rise to farm workers in Wales after the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board.
About 13,000 farm workers are said to benefit from the one-off pay rise
About 13,000 farm workers are said to benefit from the one-off pay rise

About 13,000 farm workers in Wales are set to get a 6 per cent pay rise in statutory pay rates after having had no increase for the last three years.

 

It follows the Welsh Government’s victory in the Supreme Court after the UK government scrapped the Agricultural Wages Board.

 

The one-off pay rise - due to take effect by the end of the year - has been promised as an interim measure, before a new advisory panel is set up to decide minimum rates in the future.

 

Grade 1 pay - the lowest rate - will be set at 2p above the current national minimum wage of £6.70 an hour and will apply to all workers over the age of 16.

 

Grade 1 workers will also have the right to expect training to move up to Grade 2, the rate at which most farm workers are employed.

 

Food and Farming Deputy Minister, Rebecca Evans said the setting of minimum farm wages was part of a wider drive to ensure the long-term viability of agriculture and tackle rural poverty. It would ensure fair wages and combat a skills and labour shortage.

 

But the Farmers Union of Wales has warned that affordability was an issue for many farmers as their own incomes fell.

 

There had been mixed views among its branches about an increase in minimum wage rates given the fall in farm incomes and profitability since the last wage bands were set in 2012 and further anticipated falls in 2015-16.

 

NFU Cymru president, Stephen James, wants the Welsh Government to publicise the changes, so farmers employing staff did not inadvertently fall foul of the law.


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