Minimum rate of pay is agreed


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A single minimum level of pay for agricultural workers has been agreed by the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board (SAWB).

The decision means that from April 1, 2019, a single minimum hourly rate for all agricultural workers, irrespective of age and duties, that is equal to the UK Government’s National Living Wage of £8.21.

There is an increase of 30p in the hourly rate to £5.30 for workers who undertake an SCQF Level 4 or 5 Modern Apprenticeship in Agriculture or equivalent qualification.

There is also recognition by the SAWB that the combined window for completion of both of these qualifications is now 18 months, and an increase of 5p in the additional sum of £1.25 per hour for workers who have an appropriate qualification.

There will be an increase of 24p in the additional allowance of £6.24 per working dog up to a maximum of four dogs.

And there will be an increase in the daily rate of the offset for accommodation other than a house that is equal to the rate under the UK Government’s National Minimum Wage of £7.55

A revised Wages Order detailing the SAWB’s agreed changes will come into effect on April 1, 2019, together with a supportive Guide to Agricultural Wages in Scotland.

The Scottish Agricultural Wages Board is an autonomous body established under the Agricultural Wage (Scotland) Act 1949. The board exists to set minimum rates of pay and other conditions of service for agricultural workers in Scotland and comprises 17 members.

Within the board, six members represent the interests of employers nominated by the National Farmers’ Union of Scotland and the Scottish Land and Estates, six members represent the interests of workers nominated by Unite the Union, and five independent members are appointed by Scottish ministers, one of whom is designated chair.