3.5% pay rise proposed for Northern Ireland farmworkers

Farmworkers in Northern Ireland are set to get a 3.5% increase from 1 April 2018.

The Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) for Northern Ireland has proposed that the minimum wage rate for a standard worker (Grade 2) should rise to £7.42/hour, while the craft grade (Grade 4) should increase to £8.76/hour.

In addition, the accommodation offset will rise to a maximum of £37/week.

See also: Why it is vital to be clear on farmworker employment status

The offset rate is required where an employer provides accommodation, as they can count some of its value towards national minimum wage pay.

However, they are not able to count more than the accommodation offset rate which is in force.

The proposed wages rates are as follows:

Minimum rate (applicable for the first 40 weeks cumulative employment)

£6.88/hour

Grade 2: Standard worker

 £7.42/hour

Grade 3: Lead worker

 £8.16/hour

Grade 4: Craft grade

 £8.76/hour

Grade 5: Supervisory grade

 £9.26/hour

Grade 6: Farm management grade

 £10.04/hour

The AWB has invited anyone with an objection to the proposals to make their views known before 23 February.

The board is due to meet 9 March to consider any representations and to make a new wages order which will take effect from 1 April.

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