The Scottish Agricultural Wages Board has proposed a 2-3% increase in minimum wages for farmworkers in Scotland from this autumn.

The revised hourly rates, set out below, are due to come into effect from 1 October 2012 and a consultation on the proposals runs until 10 June.

NFU Scotland’s chief executive, Scott Walker, said the planned increases struck the right balance between the mixed profitability of different agriculture sectors and the continuing economic difficulties elsewhere in the economy.

“Any increase in wage rates has a permanent effect on costs and we have to ensure that the industry can pay its workers not just this year but also in the future,” he said.

“During our negotiations and now, looking at the outcome, I appreciate that there has been some recognition of the different effect the agricultural minimum rate has on seasonal workers and people employed full time in agriculture.”

The SAWB will meet again on 22 August to consider responses to the consultation and decide whether the increases will go ahead.

 Proposed minimum rates 
Current rate Current rate Proposed rate Increase

Worker with > 26 weeks continuous employment

6.67 6.86 0.19 (2.85%)
Workers in their first 26 weeks of employment 6.11 6.22 0.11 (1.8%)
New agriculture apprenticeship – first 12 months  3.70 3.81 0.11 (2.85%)
Extra pay for workers with a Scottish or National Vocational Qualification in an agricultural subject at Level III or above 1.01 1.04 0.03 (2.85%)
Working for dog allowance (per dog) £5.06/a week £5.20/week £0/.14 (2.85%)
Accomodation offset other than a house  £4.73/day  £4.82/day £0.09 (1.9%)
Note: The only benefit provided by an employer to a worker that can be counted as part payment of the minimum wage is the provision of a house. The value of this benefit remains at £1.