Scottish farmworkers see wage increase

Farmworkers in Scotland will see an increase in wages this year following negotiations by the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board.

From October 1, workers will receive a minimum rate of £5.96/hour for the first 26 weeks of employment.

Those working for more than 26 weeks will earn at least £6.52/hour.

Workers who are in their first 12 months of employment and undertaking a Level 2 Modern Apprenticeship in Agriculture will receive an hourly rate of £3.61 or more.

Qualified workers will also be paid an additional 99p/hour.

Scott Walker, NFU Scotland policy director, said the rise was formal confirmation of a wage increase the industry knew would take effect from 1 October.

“This will again mean that the minimum agricultural wage rate will be above the minimum wage rate that applies in any other sector of the economy,” he said.

“The UK coalition government have announced their intention to scrap the wages board for England and Wales, and we are pleased that they realise that with a national minimum wage and varied employment legislation, a specific wages board for agriculture makes no sense at all.

“We hope that the Scottish Government will follow their lead when the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board is next reviewed in late 2011.”