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Agricultural Wage Proposals Reflect Difficult Year

NFU Scotland believes the proposed increases in agricultural wages announced by the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board are proportionate and reflect the hugely challenging year faced by the sector.

The Scottish Agricultural Wages Board has determined that from 1st October 2013, the basic rate of pay for agricultural workers with more than 26 weeks continuous employment will increase by 13p per hour to £6.99 bringing the minimum wage for a 39 hour week to £272.61.  The basic rate of pay for agricultural workers with less than 26 weeks continuous employment will increase by 10p per hour to £6.32 bringing the minimum wage for a 39 hour week to £246.48.

The NFU Scotland representatives present at the recent Agricultural Wages Board annual meeting had stressed the need for wage increases to be balanced. They asked that they reflect the fall in farm incomes experienced in 2012 and the fact that more than 80 percent of Scottish farmers expected their output to be down in 2013.

NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker said:

“We think the settlement is a fair settlement given the significant difficulties the Scottish farming industry has faced with bad weather in 2012, snow storms in March and one of the coldest springs on record undermining profitability on all farms across Scotland.

“As part of the wage discussions, we again voiced our concern that those parts of our industry that are reliant on seasonal workers could face serious competition issues for staff in the years ahead once the Agricultural Wages Board in England and Wales is disbanded.

“For out soft fruit and vegetable growers, having a statutory requirement to pay higher wages while growers south of the border need only pay the national minimum will put our farms at a competitive disadvantage.

“There is now a period of time for stakeholders to respond to the wage proposals.  We encourage all those concerned about the impact of the changes in England and Wales or about the proposed increase in rates for Scottish workers to write to the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board about their concerns ahead of the 21 June deadline.”  

Notes to Editors

  • The Scottish Agricultural Wages Board agreed proposed wage rates from 1st October 2013 following the annual meeting of the Wages Board on 8 May 2013. The basic rate of pay for agricultural workers with more than 26 weeks continuous employment will increase by 13p per hour to £6.99 bringing the minimum wage for a 39 hour week to £272.61. The basic rate of pay for agricultural workers with less than 26 weeks continuous employment will increase by 10p per hour to £6.32 bringing the minimum wage for a 39 hour week to £246.48.
  • The proposed hourly rates are:

-    £6.32 (an increase of 10p per hour) for those in the first 26 weeks of employment
-    £6.99 (an increase of 13p per hour) for those employed for more that 26 weeks by the same employer
-    £3.88 (an increase of 7p per hour) for workers who undertake a Level 2 Modern Apprenticeship in Agriculture
-    £1.06 (an increase of 2p per hour) for those workers with appropriate qualifications.

  • Those working with dogs should receive an allowance of £5.30 per week for each dog (an increase of 10p per dog) up to a maximum of four dogs.  A rise in the daily rate of the accommodation off-set for accommodation other than a house to £4.91 per day (an increase of 9p per day).
  • The proposals will be advertised in detail during next week and written representations must be sent to the Board by 21 June 2013.  The Board will meet again on 21 August  2013 to consider representations and, if it so decides, will make an Order giving effect to its proposals.
  • The Scottish Agricultural Wages Board is an autonomous body and comprises 17 members, with six representing the interests of employers nominated by NFU Scotland (NFUS) and the Scottish Land & Estates, six representing the interests of workers nominated by Unite the Union, and five independent members appointed by Scottish Ministers, one of whom is designated Chair.
  • Copies of the Wages Order No 61, effective from 1 October 2013 will be available towards the end of September 2013 and can be obtained from the Secretary, Scottish Agricultural Wages Board, Saughton House, Broomhouse Drive, Edinburgh EH11 3XD, Tel No: 0300 244 9749 or online at the Scottish Government website at www.scotland.gov.uk  

 Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 73/13


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