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Farm workers: Agricultural wages

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Agricultural Wages Order

Any person employed to undertake agricultural work is entitled to be paid at least the minimum rates of pay set from time to time by the Agricultural Wages Board. The minimum rates and the other terms and conditions of employment that apply to agricultural workers are set out in the Agricultural Wages Order.

These are the definitive editions of the documents.  You should be aware that the paper edition of the Agricultural Wages Order contains a slight error in the table of Flexible Worker rates.  Similarly the paper edition of the Guide to the Order contains an error in respect of the hourly rate for an Apprentice in their first year.  These have been corrected in the editions above.

Earlier documents
Enquiries about the Order

If you have any enquiries about the Order you should ring the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368.

Management and enforcement

The Agricultural Wages Team enforces the Agricultural Wages Order for England and Wales on behalf of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs using powers incorporated into the Agricultural Wages Act 1948 from the National Minimum Wage Act 1998.

Enforcement work is undertaken in response to specific complaints and is preceded by a period of informal arbitration aimed at bringing the parties to an amicable settlement. Formal inspections of employers pay records are conducted by Agricultural Wages Inspectors who act on behalf of the Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs but are employed by the Rural Payments Agency. Where an inspector concludes that a worker has been underpaid he or she can issue an Enforcement Notice.

If you are an employer, the Payment of Minimum Wages to Agricultural Workers (PDF 57 KB) document sets out how the Agricultural Wages Order is enforced in respect of paying the Agricultural Minimum Wage.

If you are a worker the Minimum Wages for Agricultural Workers (PDF 43 KB) document sets out how the Agricultural Wages Order is enforced in respect of receiving the Agricultural Minimum Wage.

If you are a worker and you are not receiving your correct wages or other provisions as set out in the Agricultural Wages Order an Agricultural Wages Complaint form and guidance notes are available. Please complete and return the form to the address below:

Agricultural Wages Team
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Room 109
Electra Way
Crewe,
Cheshire
CW1 6GJ

The Agricultural Wages Team also responsible for dealing with correspondence about the provisions of the Order. The Agricultural Wages Team can give advice on how we would enforce the Order but only the Courts and Employment Tribunals can give an authoritative interpretation of its provisions.

Contact Defra's Agricultural Wages Team

To contact the Agricultural Wages Team write to the address below:

The Agricultural Wages Team
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Room 109
Electra Way
Crewe
Cheshire
CW1 6GJ

Email: agriwages@defra.gsi.gov.uk

Contact the Agricultural Wages Board

The Agricultural Wages Team does not deal with queries on how the Agricultural Wages Board reaches its decisions over pay and other provisions. If you have any queries on these issues please contact the Agricultural Wages Board Secretary.

Contact details:

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

Tel: 020 7238 6523

Fax: 020 7238 6553

Report on Wages In Agriculture

Page last modified: 5 October 2010
Page published: 1 July 2006