AWB current terms and conditions of employments, wages, etc

Terms and conditions applicable to employment, wages, sick pay and holiday entitlements in the agricultural sector.

General Definitions

The definitions listed below spell out some of the worker's entitlements that the employer has to consider when calculating overtime, holiday entitlement or making deductions from the Agricultural Minimum Wage.

Agricultural Work

The AWB NI uses the definition of “agriculture” as set out in The Agricultural Wages (Regulation) (NI) Order 1977. This states:

"agriculture " includes horticulture, fruit growing, seed growing, dairy farming and livestock breeding and keeping, the use of land as grazing land, meadow land, market gardens and nursery grounds, the use of land for woodlands where that use is ancillary to the farming of land for other agricultural purposes, the scutching of flax and tow and any process preparatory to or connected with the scutching of flax or tow;"

It is AWB policy that the packing of produce is not classed as agricultural work and the picking/gathering is.

However, there is no comprehensive list of work to which the 1977 Order applies and the exact extent of any non-compliance with AWB legislation may be dependent on an individual worker’s specific circumstances and subject to testing by a court or employment tribunal.


Overtime is defined as employment in excess of 39 hours per week for which a minimum weekly rate is payable.

Temporary and harvest worker

'Temporary and harvest worker' means a worker on a contract of employment of less than 52 weeks.


'Week' means any five days from Monday to Saturday inclusive on which it is agreed between an employer and a worker that the worker shall be required to work.

Weekly day off

'Weekly day off' means such day in each week (not being a Sunday or additional holiday in accordance with the provisions of the holiday entitlement) as may be agreed between an employer and a worker as being the day on which the worker shall not be required to work.

Payments in Kind

For the purposes of the application of the minimum rates of wages set out in paragraph 1 of Part II (of the current Agricultural Wages (amendment) Order):

  • for all workers employed in agriculture prior to 6th April 2009 excluding 'Temporary and Harvest workers', a house or other accommodation provided by an employer, including any garden provided with it, may, with the consent of the worker, be reckoned as payment of wages in lieu of payment in cash to a maximum value of £1.50 per week
  • for all workers commencing work in agriculture for the first time from 6th April 2009, a house or other accommodation provided by an employer, including any garden provided with it, may, with consent of the worker, be reckoned as payment of wages in lieu of payment in cash to a maximum value of £34.00 per week (rising to a maximum of £37.00 per week from 1 April 2018)

Except as provided for above, no deductions for benefits in kind or other advantages shall be made from a worker's pay as prescribed in paragraph 1 of Part II (of the current Agricultural Wages (amendment) Order).

Grading System for Agricultural Workers

In March 2007, the Board agreed a Grading System with new age bands. Under the System, agricultural workers' advancement through the Grades is based on the worker's experience and qualifications.

The Grading System created by the Agricultural Wages Board sets out the definitions for each Grade and the qualifications appropriate to that Grade.

AWB Sick Pay

The scheme provides sick pay for full-time workers who have worked continuously for the same employer for 52 weeks or more. It does not cover absences due to injuries sustained outside the course of work or illness due to pregnancy or maternity.

  • A worker must notify his or her employer of his or her incapacity and produce a self-certified sick notice for an absence of seven days or less, or a medical certificate for a longer period of illness.
  • A worker will not be paid for the first three days of absence unless he or she is absent for 14 days or more.
  • A qualifying worker will be entitled to a half day's pay plus Statutory Sick Pay for every day of absence.

If you require information on Statutory Sick Pay, please contact HM Revenue and Customs on telephone 0845 302 1479.

AWB Sick Pay Order 1996 

Holiday entitlement

The minimum holiday entitlement is 5.6 weeks or 28 days.

Holiday year

The holiday year for agricultural workers is from 1st January to 31st December.

Workers employed less than 52 weeks

An agricultural worker in continuous employment for less than 52 weeks is entitled to the following leave:

Number of days worked per week Number of days holiday entitlement
1 6
2 11.5
3 17
4 22.5
5 28

Workers employed for 52 weeks or more

An agricultural worker in continuous employment with the same employer for a year or more is entitled to a total holiday entitlement of 29 days made up of 28 days leave (proportionate to the number of days worked per week) plus one of the additional days listed below:

  • 1st January
  • 17th March
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • May Day
  • 12th July
  • 13th July
  • 1st Monday of August
  • 12th August
  • 15th August
  • Last Monday of August
  • Last Saturday of August
  • 25th December
  • 26th December

Calculating Holiday Entitlement

The 5.6 week rate applies throughout the year.

Example: A worker, who normally works five days per week leaves their employment on 1st October. As they have worked for three-quarters of the year, they would be entitled to three-quarters of their holiday entitlement of 28 days which is 21 days. The worker has used only 10 of these days and has also had all the Bank and Public holidays they have been due. They would therefore be entitled to receive payment in lieu for the 11 days of holiday entitlement not taken. 


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