0 Agricultural Wage Negotiations 2006

Agricultural Wage Negotiations 2006

Press Release

The Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales met on 13, 14 and 15 June 2006 for the 2006 annual pay negotiations. The Board has proposed introducing a new Wages Order that will come into force on Sunday 1 October 2006.

It is proposed that:

  • The minimum rates for Grades 2, 4, 5 and 6 should be increased by approximately 2.9%. This increases the basic minimum rate for an adult standard worker from £5.58 per hour to £5.74 per hour.
  • The minimum basic rate for a Grade 3 worker should increase by 6.8% from £5.91 per hour to £6.31 per hour.
  • The minimum basic Grade 1 rate for workers aged 16 or more should increase by 5.9% from £5.05 to £5.35 per hour in line with the National Minimum Wage.
  • Other rates and allowances should increase by 2.9%.
  • The Grade 1 Basic Trainee grade should be re-named "Initial Grade".
  • Initial Grade workers would become entitled to receive training to meet Standard Worker requirements after 30 weeks employment in aggregate with the same employer.
  • Age-related pay differentials would be abolished with the exception of the rate for under-16 Initial Grade workers.
  • Appendix 2 should be replaced with specific mandatory and optional competences required and that Appendix 5 should be deleted.
  • The Young Trainee category should be named "Trainees" and the scope amended to reflect changes to Government training schemes .
  • The Flexible Worker category would no longer have a minimum age requirement of 18 years of age.
  • The upper age limit for Apprentices should be removed.
  • The rates for Years 1 and 2 of an Apprenticeship and Year 1 of an Advanced Apprenticeship should be paid at 60% of the Grade 2 rates. The rates for Year 2 of an Advanced Apprenticeship should be paid at 75% of the Grade 2 rates.
  • Total annual holiday entitlement should be increased from 22 to 23 days a year for a full-time worker working 5 days a week (and other workers would receive pro-rata benefits).
  • Part-time workers would receive pro-rata treatment with full-time workers with respect to Bank and Public holidays where they do not normally work on a Bank or Public holiday.
  • For workers with a contract of employment starting on or after 1 October 2006 Sunday work would not automatically attract the overtime premium only by virtue of the fact that work is being done on a Sunday.
  • Work on agricultural pensions will continue in the light of the publication of the Turner Report and the government White Paper "Security in Retirement".
  • The "other accommodation" offset would increase to £4.15 per day.
  • The issue of paid leave in cases of domestic emergencies (e.g. medical or hospital appointments) is to be considered within the framework of future negotiations.
  • Entitlement to Paternity leave should be removed and replaced by a grant to male and female workers upon the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Other technical and consequential drafting amendments are also proposed.
  • The Board agreed the proposed pay increases by 10 votes to 6 with the Independent Members voting with the National Farmers' Union.

Full details of the Board's proposals can be obtained from the AWB Secretariat, Tel 020 7238 6523. Representations or other comments on the proposals must be lodged with the Secretary to the Board by Friday 21 July.

The Agricultural Wages Board is constituted under the Agricultural Wages Act 1948. It is an independent body with 21 members. Eight members representing employers are nominated by the National Farmers' Union and eight members representing workers are nominated by the Transport and General Workers' Union. There are five Independent Members who have been appointed jointly by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Welsh Assembly Government.

The minimum rates of pay specified in the Wages Order apply to any worker employed in agriculture anywhere in England and Wales. Where a worker's contract provides for payment at piece rates the worker's wages must not be less than the appropriate minimum for the actual hours worked.

The current minimum rate for the standard 39-hour working week applicable to Full Time Standard adult workers is £217.62 (£5.58 an hour).

With effect from 1 October 2006 the National Minimum Wage is due to increase to £5.35 per hour for workers aged 22 and over. The development rate for workers aged 18-21 will increase to £4.45 per hour. The rate for 16-17 year olds will increase from £3.00 to £3.30 per hour. The Board cannot set a minimum rate which is below the National Minimum Wage.


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Contact Kerry Haywood

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