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Agricultural Wages Board


The Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) is an independent body with a statutory obligation to fix minimum wages for workers employed in agriculture in England and Wales. The Board also has discretionary powers to decide other terms and conditions of employment, e.g. holidays and sick pay. It produces a legally binding Order which is enforced by Defra.

The Agricultural Wages Act 1948 gives the AWB the responsibility for fixing minimum rates of wages and other terms and conditions of employment for workers employed in agriculture. This is done through the Agricultural Wages Order (the Order), which has the force of law and is enforced by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Order applies to all workers employed in agriculture in England and Wales.

Enquiries about the Order

The AWB does not deal with enquiries about the provisions of the Agricultural Wages Order.  If you have such an enquiry please contact the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368. Or email the Agricultural Wages Team at:


The Board held its annual negotiating meeting on 14 and 15 June 2010 at the conclusion of which it made proposals for a new Order to come into force on 1 October 2010.

Guide to the Agricultural Wages Order

The Board has produced a short guide to the Agricultural Wages Order. This is intended to help employers and workers to become acquainted with the main provisions of the Order. It is not a legal document and should not be treated as such. It is for the Courts and the Employment Tribunals to interpret the law in each individual case.

Publication scheme

For details of the AWB publication scheme please see:

Agricultural employment

For more information please see

Contacting the Agricultural Wages Board

The Secretary to the
Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales
Area 8E, 9 Millbank
c/o 17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR

Tel: 020 7238 6523
Fax: 020 7238 6553

Page last modified: 2 July 2010
Page published: 16 March 2005