Pay increase for agricultural workers

Date published: 16 January 2018

The Agricultural Wages Board for Northern Ireland has announced proposed increases to the minimum wage rates for agricultural workers.


Following a meeting on 12 January 2018, the Board proposes to increase existing minimum rates for agricultural workers for grades 2 to 6 by 3.5% from 1 April 2018. In addition, the accommodation offset will rise to a maximum of £37 per week. Therefore, the proposed new rates are:

Minimum rate, applicable for the first 40 weeks cumulative employment - £6.88 per hour

Grade 2 - Standard worker                             - £7.42 per hour

Grade 3 - Lead worker                                   - £8.16 per hour

Grade 4 - Craft Grade                                    - £8.76 per hour

Grade 5 - Supervisory Grade                         - £9.26 per hour

Grade 6 - Farm Management Grade              - £10.04 per hour

The Board will meet again on 9 March 2018 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 2018.

Any objections to the above proposals should be sent to: The Secretary, Agricultural Wages Board, Room 917, Dundonald House, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast BT4 3SB, to arrive on or before Friday 23 February 2018.

The definitions for the grades and the qualifications required for each grade are available on the DAERA website or by contacting the Agricultural Wages Secretariat, Room 917, Dundonald House, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast BT4 3SB (Tel: 028 9052 4012).

Notes to editors: 

1. The Agricultural Wages Board was established under the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 and meets each year to consider changes to the rates of pay and related conditions for agricultural workers.

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;
  • 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.  All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email DAERA Press Office. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.

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