18 February 1998
NFU warns of minimum wage fears

THE National Farmers Union warned delegates at HortEx, in Harrogate, a national minimum wage of £3-£4 an hour could seriously damage the farming and horticultural industries.

Adrienne Patterson, legal adviser to the unions north-east regional branch, said £3.20 an hour would cost the industry an extra £14 million in wages and £3.50, an extra £43m.

The agricultural wages boards current rates are £4.12 for full and part-timers and £3.06 for casual workers.

She also expressed concern about the European Union working time directive which includes possible exemptions for agriculture, but not for the 48-hour working week and annual leave requirements.

  • Financial Times 18/02/98 page 12
  • The Scotsman 18/02/98 page 30