It is proposed that:
· The minimum basic Grade 1 pay rate for workers over compulsory school age should increase by 1.2% from £5.74 to £5.81 per hour.
· The minimum pay rates for Grades 2-6 should be increased by 2.2%. This would increase the minimum rates as follows:
- Grade 2 from £6.26 to £6.40 per hour;
- Grade 3 from £6.89 to £7.04 per hour;
- Grade 4 from £7.39 to £7.55 per hour;
- Grade 5 from £7.82 to £8.00 per hour;
- Grade 6 from £8.45 to £8.64 per hour.
· The rates for Apprentices in Year 1 of an Apprenticeship/Advanced Apprenticeship should increase from £3.53 to £3.57 per hour and the rates for Apprentices in Year 2 should increase from £3.53 to £3.57 for 16-18 year olds, from £4.77 to £4.83 for 19-21 year olds and from £5.73 to £5.80 for those aged 22 and over.
· Other rates and allowances should increase by 2.2%.
· The Birth/Adoption grant should increase from £ 50 to £ 60.
· The Accommodation Offset should increase from £4.46 to £4.51 per day.
· Participants in certain training schemes would be exempt from the provisions of the Order provided such exemptions were compatible with the NMW regulations.
· The Flexible Worker categories would be abolished with transitional provisions being inserted to protect existing Flexible Worker agreements.
Other technical and consequential drafting amendments are also proposed.
Full details of the Board’s proposals can be obtained from the AWB Secretariat, Tel 020 7238 6523. Representations or other comments on the proposals must be lodged with the Secretary to the Board by Monday 20 July.
Notes to editors
1. The Agricultural Wages Board is constituted under the Agricultural Wages Act 1948. It is an independent body with 21 members. Eight members representing employers are nominated by the National Farmers' Union and eight members representing workers are nominated by Unite (T&G Section). There are five Independent Members, including the Chairman, who are appointed jointly by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Welsh Assembly Government.
2. The minimum rates of pay specified in the Wages Order apply to any worker employed in agriculture anywhere in England and Wales. Where a worker's contract provides for payment at piece rates the worker's wages must not be less than the appropriate minimum for the actual hours worked.
3. The current minimum rate for the standard 39-hour working week applicable to Full Time Standard adult workers is £244.14 (£6.26 per hour).
4. With effect from 1 October 2009 the National Minimum Wage is due to increase to £5.80 per hour for workers aged 22 and over. The development rate for workers aged 18-21 will increase to £4.83 per hour. The rate for 16-17 year olds will increase from £3.53 to £3.57 per hour. The Board cannot set a minimum hourly pay rate which is below the National Minimum Wage.