5% pay increase for agricultural workers

Date published: 16 February 2022

Following a meeting on 11 February 2022, the Agricultural Wages Board for Northern Ireland has announced proposed increases to the minimum wage rates for agricultural workers.


The Board proposes to increase existing minimum rates for agricultural workers for grades 3 – 6 by 5% from 1 April 2022. Therefore the proposed new rates are:

Minimum rate, applicable for the first 40 weeks cumulative employment -

£6.95 per hour

Grade 2 – Standard worker                    - £7.49 per hour

Grade 3 – Lead worker                          - £9.36 per hour

Grade 4 – Craft Grade                          - £10.06 per hour

Grade 5 – Supervisory Grade                - £10.59 per hour

Grade 6 – Farm Management Grade     - £11.50 per hour

Should the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage, as applicable, become higher than the hourly rates set out above then the hourly or other minimum rate will default to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage, whichever applies.

Further, the Board propose increasing the accommodation offset by 5% to £47.25 per week.

Any objections to the above proposals should be sent to: AWB Secretariat, 1st Floor, Ballykelly House, 111 Ballykelly Road, Limavady, BT49 9HO, or where possible, given current COVID circumstances, via email to: CorporateSponsorBranch@daera-ni.gov.uk to arrive on or before Friday 11th March 2022.

The Board will meet again on 16 March 2022 to consider any objections to the proposals and may make an Order to give effect to the new rates and other amendments which would come into operation on 1 April 2022.

The definitions for the grades and the qualifications required for each grade are available on the DAERA website or by contacting the AWB Secretariat 1st Floor, Ballykelly House, 111 Ballykelly Road, Limavady, BT49 9HO (Tel: 02877 442 250, Email: CorporateSponsorBranch@daera-ni.gov.uk).

Notes to editors: 

1. The Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) was established under the terms of the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 1977, to regulate the minimum rates of wages, and other related matters, for workers in agriculture.

2. The Board consists of 15 members:

  • three members appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, one of whom is Chair of the Board (one position is currently vacant);
  • six members nominated by the Ulster Farmers' Union as representatives of agricultural employers; and
  • six members nominated by Unite the Union as representatives of agricultural workers' interests.

3. This Press Release is issued by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs on behalf of the Agricultural Wages Board.

4. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook.

5. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office.

6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800 hrs and 0800 hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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