Outdated farm labour laws to be abolished

Farm labour restrictions in the UK will be abolished next year after the government called them outdated and bureaucratic.

Defra’s plans to scrap the Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) will come into force as early as next year, said David Heath, minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

According to Heath the AWB, which is a panel setting pay, was abolished in all other sectors around 20-years ago and will soon be scrapped from the farming sector.

Heath said the move would mean the law governing agricultural wages would be harmonised with the rest of the economy. “Scrapping these outdated and bureaucratic rules will significantly reduce burdens to farmers while keeping workers extremely well protected,” he said. “I’m convinced it’s the right move to help agriculture take advantage of the huge opportunities to prosper in coming years.”

Heath also added that such changes would lead to a more flexible market and make it easier for employees to receive annual salaries, rather than hourly wages.

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