The Agricultural Wages Board for Northern Ireland has announced proposed increases to the minimum wage rates for agricultural workers, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) said today (Thursday, January 26).

The wage board proposed an increase to the existing minimum rates for agricultural workers for all grades by 8.5% by April 1, 2023.

The decision follows a meeting held by the board on January 20, 2023.

With this increase, the new pay rates would be:

  • Minimum rate, which is applicable for the first 40 weeks of cumulative employment – £7.54/hr;
  • Grade 2 standard worker – £8.13/hr;
  • Grade 3 lead worker – £10.16/hr;
  • Grade 4 craft grade – £10.92/hr;
  • Grade 5 supervisory grade – £11.49/hr;
  • Grade 6 farm management grade – £12.48/hr.

Should the national minimum wage or the national living wage, as applicable, become higher than the hourly rates set out above then the hourly or other minimum rate will default to the national minimum wage or national living wage, whichever applies.

Furthermore, the board proposed increasing the accommodation offset by 8.5% to £51.27/week and providing three days bereavement leave following the death of a close family member.  

The board said it will meet again on March 16, 2023, 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 April 1, 2023.