14 June 1996

Farm staff procedures are under par – survey

FARMERS should place more emphasis on training staff, should provide greater security through pensions and life insurance, and should pay more on the basis of monthly salaries.

Those were just three of the conclusions from a survey of over 350 farms, unveiled at this weeks Cereals 96 event in Lincolnshire by accountants Deloitte and Touche Agriculture.

More than one in five employees received over £5000 a year in overtime. And too many are still paid weekly by cash or cheque, it revealed. Monthly fixed salaries, paid direct into a bank account, are preferable, leading to less administration, less overtime and less cash lying around on the farm.

The survey also examined the cost of other rewards, valuing a tied cottage at £2600/year, a pension at £750 and private medical insurance at £550.

Labour typically accounts for 17% of total farm costs and is a resource which should be well looked after.