All employed agricultural, horticultural and forestry workers in Wales are entitled to be paid at least the Agricultural Minimum Wage.

The Agricultural Wages (Wales) Order 2024 replaces the 2023 Order which means there will be increased minimum pay rates for all grades of worker; all allowances (which include dog allowances) will be increased by 8.5 per cent and the overtime rate is now payable at 1.5 times the agricultural worker’s actual hourly rate, rather than the applicable agricultural minimum wage hourly rate.

The age bands in grades A and B under the Order have also been amended to reflect changes made in relation to the National Living Wage.

The wage rate increases were recommended by the Agricultural Advisory Panel for Wales (AAP), an independent body chaired by Dr Nerys Llewelyn Jones. The panel, which has been operational since 2016, is made up of representatives from the Farmers’ Union of Wales, National Farmers Union Cymru, Unite the Union, and three independent members.

During the last eight months, the AAP members negotiated the changes to pay and terms and conditions under the Order and consulted industry stakeholders on its draft proposals before advising Welsh Ministers on the Panel’s recommendations for new minimum wage arrangements and terms and conditions of employment for all agricultural, horticultural and forestry workers in Wales. The Panel members drew on their expertise and consideration of the economic conditions within the industry at the time of the consultation, as well as external factors such as the National Minimum Wage changes.

Dr. Nerys Llewelyn Jones said: “The new arrangements ensure that all agricultural workers receive fair, regularly reviewed wages, allowances and terms of employment, further contributing to the Welsh Government’s health and wellbeing agenda by safeguarding household incomes, especially within rural communities.

“The Order will help ensure that careers in agriculture, horticulture and forestry are considered viable and sustainable choices for both current and potential employees, and by setting out clear guidelines for employers, the Welsh Government’s new Order will do much to encourage the development and retention of an appropriately skilled workforce in Wales.”