Welsh farmworkers may be eligible for back pay

Farmers in Wales should check if they need to backdate any pay to farmworkers, following the signing of the 2022 Agricultural Wages Order.

The order came into force on 22 April 2022, but its terms will be backdated to 1 April 2021.

This means some employers may need to make more than a year’s worth of backdated payments to some of their employees if they were not already paying the minimum rates required.

See also: Seasonal farmworkers minimum hourly wage confirmed

Backdating has been necessary as no Agricultural Wages Order was agreed for April 2021, because the Welsh government was midway through a lengthy consultation process on changes to the grading structure and minimum wages for workers.

As a result, farmworkers who could have expected an increase in their hourly wage from 1 April 2021, but did not get one, need to be recompensed.

This year’s order also includes a completely new grading structure for agricultural workers, with five new grade descriptions introduced based on qualifications, work responsibility and experience in agriculture.

The minimum rates of pay for the five new grades of agricultural worker are as follows:

Minimum hourly rates of pay for workers 

Grade

From 1 April 2021

From 1 April 2022

Grade A: Agricultural development worker (23+ years)

£8.91

£9.50

Grade B: Agricultural worker (23+ years)

£9.19

£9.50

Grade C: Advanced agricultural worker

£9.47

£9.50

Grade D: Senior agricultural worker

£10.39

£10.39

Grade E: Agricultural manager

£11.40

£11.40

Read the full guidance notes for more details of changes on the grading structure and agricultural minimum wages for 2021-22 (PDF).

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