Strutt & Parker is recommending a 2.3% pay rise for farm staff.

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) will increase by 3% to £6.50/hour from 1 October 2014 – the rise is greater than that of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which was at 1.6% in July, or the Retail Price Index (RPI) which was 2.5% for July.

“There is pressure on the government to increase the NMW, which perhaps is why the NMW has risen by more than CPI or RPI this year,” said S & P partner Richard Means.

Private sector pay rises had been relatively flat over the past couple of years, public sector pay review bodies had generally set a 1% increase for 2014-15, while the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture had set an increase in agricultural wages of 1.85% for 2014.

“Considering all of the above, we are recommending our clients to apply a rise of 2.3% for the coming year to reflect the average of the CPI and NMW increases.” The effect of such an increase, when added to the 1.9% increase which S&P recommended last year, is shown in the table above.

Any extra individual pay employers might want to award could be paid through as a discretionary bonus at the end of the year, said Mr Means.

Strutt & Parker farm pay rise recommendation
£/hr 2014
AWB Grade 1 6.50(NMW rate)
AWB Grade 2 7.25
AWB Grade 3 7.98
AWB Grade 4 8.56
AWB Grade 5 9.06
AWB Grade 6 9.79