Unite Wales has today welcomed the new
Agricultural Wages (Wales) Order 2016, introduced by the Welsh government. It will replace the last wages order made by the Agricultural Wages Board in 2012. Farmworkers in Wales are to get a six per cent rise for 26 February – their first in four years.
Andy Richards, Unite Wales Secretary commented:
“Unite Wales recognises the significant challenges that our rural communities continue to face. Today’s new order is a big step forward in the right direction for agriculture in Wales. We know that a well-trained and motivated workforce is key to ensuring long term viability.
"In another attack on ordinary rural families, the UK government abolished the Agricultural Wages Board which set and protected the wages of agricultural workers.
"The new Agricultural Wages (Wales) Order not only provides fair pay, it helps to develop the training and career structure that the agricultural sector needs if it is to compete effectively in the world market.
"Let us never forget that the UK government challenged this law in the Supreme Court as it sought to deny agricultural workers this valued protection."
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The new wage structure follows the signing of the Agricultural Wages (Wales) Order 2016, which introduces revised pay rates for all grades and categories of agricultural workers in Wales currently subject to the minimum pay rates issued by the now abolished Agricultural Wages Board.
Under the new order, workers will receive an average six per cent pay increase based on the 2012 minimum pay rates and grade structure.
The 2016 Order preserves this structure for standard and flexible workers to encourage up-skilling, career development and the further modernisation and professionalism of the agriculture industry in Wales.
The six per cent pay increase will apply to grades 2 to 6, young workers of compulsory school age, and apprentices.
Since 2012, the hourly pay of Grade 1 workers has increased in line with increases in the National Minimum Wage, and now this Order will set the Grade 2p above the current National Minimum Wage at £6.72. Grade 1 is regarded as a transitional grade.
that 70 per cent of respondents in England regretted the dissolution of the board there and that 30 per cent had seen their pay fall. In addition, 30 per cent of the respondents said they were considering leaving the industry.