Pay increase for agricultural workers

Date published: 10 February 2020

Following a meeting on 17 January 2020, 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 to 6 by 5% from 1 April 2020. In addition, the accommodation offset will rise to a maximum of £45.00 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                      - £8.82 per hour

Grade 4 – Craft Grade                       - £9.49 per hour

Grade 5 – Supervisory Grade            - £9.99 per hour

Grade 6 – Farm Management Grade - £10.84 per hour

Any objections to the above proposals should be sent to: AWB Secretariat, 1st Floor, Ballykelly House, 111 Ballykelly Road, Limavady, BT49 9HO, to arrive on or before Friday 6 March 2020.

The Board will meet again on 13 March 2020 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 2020.

The definitions for the grades and the qualifications required for each grade area available on the DAERA website or by contacting the AWB Secretariat, 1st Floor, Ballykelly House, 111 Ballykelly Road, Limavady, BT49 9HO (Tel: 028 7744 2250).

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 independent members appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, one of whom is Chair of the Board.  Currently one of the independent members posts is 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.

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5. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or via email. Out of office hours, please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.

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