Changes to agricultural employer guidlines

Employers have less than two weeks to prepare for the changes to the Agricultural Wages Order, due to come into force on 1 October.

Defra ministers announced the decision to revise the Order yesterday, after change was recommended by the Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales (AWB).

The main changes are to wage rates, living accommodation, holidays and bereavement leave, sick pay and the definition of Grade 3 and 5 workers.

Secretary of state for Defra Hilary Benn said: "The Agricultural Wages Board carries out a vital role in chairing discussions between employers and employees in agriculture and in setting minimum rates of pay.

"While the vast majority of employers in agriculture provide good terms and conditions for their workers, we know that agricultural workers can sometimes be vulnerable to low pay and poor conditions, and it is important that the AWB continues its work to provide for minimum rates and standards.

"The Agricultural Wages Order will be presented in a more user-friendly format. This will make it more accessible to both workers and employers and will mean less time spent in enquiries to the Agricultural Wages Helpline."

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