There are a number of different wage rate schemes in force across the United Kingdom. Some are UK wide, some are devolved to each of the nations. This article will set out the minimum wage rate employers should be aware of.
National Minimum Wage & National Living Wage (UK)
The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage applies to almost all workers in the UK. This is the minimum you can pay per hour.
|25 and over||£7.83||£8.21|
|21 to 24||£7.38||£7.70|
|18 to 20||£5.90||£6.15|
Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate of the National Minimum Wage if they are either under 19 or 19 and over and in the first year of their apprenticeship
Apprentices over 19 who have completed the first year of their apprenticeship are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their age.
The rules for agricultural workers varies depending on which part of the United Kingdom the agricultural worker is employed.
Agricultural workers in England must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage. Workers employed before the rules changed on 1 October 2013 still have the right to the Agricultural Minimum Wage if it says so in their contract.
Agricultural Minimum Wage for those employed before 1 October 2013
Select from each tab to find out more.
If a worker’s contract says they should work 39 hours a week (not including overtime) they must be paid the weekly rate, otherwise they must be paid the hourly rate.
|Grade of worker||Weekly pay||Hourly pay||Hourly overtime|
|Grade 1 (compulsory school age)||n/a||£3.11||£4.67|
|Grade 1 (above compulsory school age)||£242.19||£6.21||£9.32|
Flexible workers must be paid at least the weekly rate if they are full-time, or at least the hourly rate if they are part-time.
|Grade of worker||Days per week||Hourly pay||Weekly pay||Hourly overtime|
|Grade 1||4 to 5||£6.52||£254.28||£9.32|
|Grade 2||4 to 5||£7.31||£285.09||£10.44|
|Grade 3||4 to 5||£8.04||£313.56||£11.49|
|Grade 4||4 to 5||£8.62||£336.18||£12.32|
|Grade 5||4 to 5||£9.14||£356.46||£13.05|
|Grade 6||4 to 5||£9.87||£384.93||£14.10|
A trainee doesn’t have to be paid for:
- the hours they’re being trained
They should be paid for any work done as part of a separate contract.
If an employed worker is on a training course, they should be paid at least their normal wage – including for the time spent travelling to and from the training.
Overtime must be paid if a person works:
- more than 39 basic hours in a week
- more than 8 hours in a day
- any hours over the normal working hours in the employment contract
- on a public or bank holiday
- on a Sunday – if the contract started before 1 October 2006
Scotland uses a single minimum rate for all agricultural workers. The rate is set by the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board.
The minimum rate was set at the same level as the National Living Wage of £7.83 for the period up to 31 March 2019.
The Scottish Agricultural Wages Board has not yet published details of the rates to use from April, but employers should default to the amount used for the National Living Wage from April of £8.21 until a new Scottish rate is agreed.
From 1 April 2018 employees who have agreed, as part of the terms of their contract of employment, to study an SCQF Level 4 and/or SCQF Level 5 or equivalent in Agriculture/Horticulture, are entitled to be paid:
- £5.00 per hour for 6 months ( SCQF Level 4 or equivalent) or
- £5.00 per hour for 12 months ( SCQF Level 5 or equivalent) or
- £5.00 per hour for 12 months for an employee who agrees to undertake an SCQF Level 4 or equivalent followed by an SCQF Level 5 or equivalent
Following these periods the minimum hourly rate will be used
- Workers who have been with the same employer for more than
26 continuous weeks, and who hold a qualification in an agricultural or
production horticulture subject at SCQF 6/7 or above (this includes Scottish (or National) Vocational Qualification at Level 3, National Certificate,
Higher National Certificate, Higher National Diploma) are entitled to be
paid an additional sum of at least £1.20 per hour from 1 April 2018.
- A qualification in an agricultural or production horticulture subject above
Level 3 ( SCQF 6/7) must be relevant to the work being carried out.
- This additional sum is also payable to workers who hold a Level 3
( SCQF 6/7) Modern Apprenticeship certificate in agriculture or horticulture [production horticulture pathway only], issued by Lantra, after the worker has been with the same employer for more than 26 weeks.
- Workers who hold a Certificate of Acquired Experience will also be entitled to be paid an additional sum of at least £1.20 per hour from 1 April 2018.
- Applications for the Certificate of Acquired Experience closed on 31 December 1997, although the Certificate remains valid beyond that date.
Up to 26 continuous weeks
- Overtime must be paid when a worker works for more than 8 hours on any day or for more than 48 hours in any week. Note that no overtime hour can be counted twice, i.e. either it is paid because it is in excess of 8 hours for the day or because it is in excess of 48 hours for the week, but not both.
Over 26 continuous weeks
- Overtime must be paid when a worker works for more than 8 hours on any day or for more than 39 hours in any week. Note that no overtime hour can be counted twice, i.e. either it is paid because it is in excess of 8 hours for the day or because it is in excess of 39 hours for the week, but not both.
- The minimum hourly rate of payment for overtime for both up to and over 26 weeks as detailed above is the minimum hourly rate of pay to which the worker is entitled multiplied by 1.5.
Wales uses multiple rates for agricultural workers depending on their grade. The rate is set by the Agricultural Advisory Panel for Wales.
The Agricultural Advisory Panel for Wales has not yet published the rates to use from 1 April 2019. If the rates are not published in time, then where the NLW/NMW exceeds a below rate, that should be used instead.
The current rates are:
|Grade 1: worker under compulsory school age||£3.47|
|Grade 1: worker (16 to 24 years of age)||£7.38|
|Grade 1: worker (aged 25+)||£7.83|
|Grade 2 worker||£8.29|
|Grade 3 worker||£8.54|
|Grade 4 worker||£9.16|
|Grade 5 worker||£9.70|
|Grade 6 worker||£10.48|
|Year 1 apprentice||£3.93|
|Year 2 apprentice (aged 16 to 17)||£4.21|
|Year 2 apprentice (aged 18 to 20)||£5.90|
|Year 2 apprentice (aged 21 to 24)||£7.38|
|Year 2 apprentice (aged 25+)||£8.05|
Overtime rate is calculated as 1.5 times the above hourly rates.
Northern Ireland uses multiple rates for agricultural workers depending on their grade. The rate is set by the Agricultural Wages Board for Northern Ireland.
The rates below are the proposed rates for 2019/20 and should be confirmed when The Board meets on 8 March 2019
|Grade 1: minimum rate – applicable for the first 40 weeks cumulative employment||£6.88|
|Grade 2: Standard Worker||£7.42|
|Grade 3: Lead worker||£8.40|
|Grade 4: Craft grade||£9.03|
|Grade 5: Supervisory grade||£9.51|
|Grade 6: Farm management grade||£10.32|
Overtime rate is calculated as 1.5 times the above hourly rates for above 39 hours worked.