Pay increase for agricultural workers

Date published: 30 March 2021

The Agricultural Wages Board for Northern Ireland (AWB) has confirmed changes to pay for agricultural workers.


At a meeting of the AWB on Friday 12 March 2021, the Board agreed the rates to become effective from 1 April 2021.

The 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 - £8.91 per hour

Grade 4 – Craft Grade - £9.58 per hour

Grade 5 – Supervisory Grade - £10.09 per hour

Grade 6 – Farm Management Grade - £10.95 per hour

The operative date for the new rates is the first pay reference period beginning on or after 1 April 2021, and this is specified in the Board’s Order No 101. The Agricultural Wages (Amendment) Order 2021 is available from the DAERA website.

The definitions for the grades and the qualifications required for each grade are available from the DAERA website or by contacting the AWB Secretariat 1st Floor, Ballykelly House, 111 Ballykelly Road, Limavady, BT49 9HO (Telephone: 02877 442 250, Email:

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.

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5. All media enquiries to DAERA Press Office, telephone: 028 9052 4619 or email DAERA Press Office.

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

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