Know How / Staff management

A motivated, well-trained team can be the key to running a successful agricultural business, but people management can be a challenge. Get expert advice on how to recruit and retain the best farm staff, plus tips on staying on the right side of the law when it comes to employment issues.

Case studies

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How a post-Brexit staff shortage could affect horticulture

When award-winning vegetable grower Joe Rolfe needs his brassicas weeding, an army of people descend by the busload on the farm. Horticulture is notoriously labour intensive – and even more…


New Zealander helps Oxford farm cope with shearing season

Shearing is a specialist skill, and one that takes many years and thousands, if not millions, of sheep to master. For Oxfordshire shearer Stuart Connor, being able to hire a…

Practical advice

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7 top tips for carrying out effective farm staff reviews

How often do you sit down with your staff and undertake a personal review?  This isn’t the cup-of-coffee chat where you ask how things are going and more likely than…


7 top tips for communicating with farm staff

Do you find your staff often misunderstand you and are they ignoring your instructions? Or are you finding your staff are complaining that they don’t know what’s happening around the…


What farm employers need to know about new payslip rules

New rules come into force on 6 April 2019 that will affect farm employers with workers whose pay varies according to the amount of time worked. The new rules require…


7 staff management tips from a dairy farmer

Staff management remains one of the UK dairy industry’s biggest challenges and with Brexit looming, it could become even more difficult. Philip Halhead, who runs a 290-head Holstein herd at…


How to give farm staff feedback and raise issues

Giving feedback to staff or dealing with difficult conversations and situations is hard in any business and Paul Harris of consultancy Real Success believes farming is no different. The importance…


7 top tips for interviewing farm staff

Is your interview process robust? Or does it merely consist of a cup of tea and a quick walk around the farm? If so, it might be time to consider…


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Outlook 2019: What Brexit uncertainty means for farm profits

The UK has high employment rates but a challenging economic background. Across the wider economy, a very free labour market offers confidence to employers to take on workers. However, many…


Farm manager salaries stagnate but benefits rise

Farm managers earned an average of £52,268 in 2017, just £30 more than two years earlier. This was made up of a £48,760 gross salary plus an average £3,508 bonus…


Shocking extent of modern slavery in agriculture revealed

The shocking extent of labour exploitation and modern-day slavery in agriculture has been laid bare in a new report by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA). Drawing on its…


What the EU agreement on citizens’ rights means for farmworker...

Last week the government announced to great fanfare that it and the EU had come to an agreement about citizens’ rights post Brexit. This will have a big impact on…


Analysis: Access to farm labour if the UK left the EU

Migrant labour plays a key role in agriculture – but could farmers, especially in the horticulture sector, access enough labour if the UK voted to leave the EU? Under the…


Analysis: How the new wages rise will hit horticulture hard

The UK’s horticulture sector wakes up today, Friday 1 April, to what some predict will be the biggest upheaval in a generation – the introduction of the national living wage…