Salmond Welcomes Agricultural Wage Rise

>> 24 August 2010

SNP Gordon MSP Alex Salmond has welcomed the increases announced by the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board to the minimum hourly rate of pay for agricultural workers and apprentices.

The increases, which will take effect from October 1, will see a minimum rate of £5.96 per hour for workers in the first 26 weeks of employment, with those employed for more than 26 weeks seeing their wage rise to at least £6.51. In addition, an hourly rate of not less than £3.61 per hour will be payable to for workers during the first 12 months of employment, provided they are undertaking a Level 2 Modern Apprenticeship in Agriculture.

The Scottish Agricultural Wages Board met on August 18 to consider six written representations received against its initial proposals for change. After careful consideration of each representation it agreed to confirm its proposals published in May.

Mr Salmond said:

“I think that these rises manage to strike the right balance at a time of economic difficulty, and I’m sure they will be welcomed by agricultural workers.

“We need to do all we can to attract and retain new entrants to the farming sector. This will be the second year in which apprentices have had the protection of a minimum wage, and I’m pleased that this has been increased as well”.

The Scottish Agricultural Wages is constituted under the Agricultural Wages (Scotland) Act 1949. It is an autonomous body and comprises 17 members: six representing the interests of employers nominated by the NFU Scotland and the Scottish Rural Property and Business Association; six representing the interests of workers nominated by Unite the Union; and five independent members appointed by the Scottish Ministers, one of whom is designated Chair.

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