Summary of Consultation responses on proposal to revoke the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 (Abolition of Agricultural Wages Board)

Date published: 11 October 2021

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) sought views on a proposal to revoke the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 (Abolition of Agricultural Wages Board). The consultation ran for 8 weeks from 13 May 2021 until 8 July 2021. Comments on the Equality Impact Assessment were welcomed until 5 August 2021.


The Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) for Northern Ireland is a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). The AWB operates under the provisions of the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) (NI) Order 1977 (the 1977 Order).

Under the 1977 Order the Board, in respect of agricultural workers in Northern Ireland, has the power to:

  • set the minimum rate of pay, including piece rates;
  • determine the type and value of deductions that an employer may make from a worker’s gross pay;
  • set the amount of holiday entitlement and holiday pay; and
  • set the level of sick pay.

The 1977 Order also provides for enforcement of AWB Orders.

The DAERA Minister is proposing to revoke Agricultural Wages (Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 1977, which would lead to the abolition of the AWB, subject to Executive agreement and Assembly passage. The consultation provided an opportunity for stakeholders to provide views on the proposal. The Consultation Outcome Report and Stakeholder Responses are available at the links below.

16 written responses to the consultation were received covering different interests including Councils, NI political parties and other bodies with specific interests and responsibilities, as well as individuals. The Department has completed a summary which provides analysis of the responses received and the issues identified. This analysis, along with the Departmental response to the comments can be viewed alongside the comments received at the links below.

The summary seeks to reflect the general views offered but, inevitably, it is not possible to describe all the responses in detail. In line with the policy of openness, respondents were informed that their views would be made publicly available. Those wishing their comments to be treated confidentially were asked to make this clear.

Following conclusion of the consultation, the next stage in the process will be to bring forward the proposal, reflecting the outcome of the consultation, for consideration by the Executive.

Consultation Documents

The original consultation documents can be viewed here.

Back to top