Are You Entitled to Agricultural Minimum Wage?

If you work in agriculture, or have employees classed as agricultural workers, some of your employment rights are different from other types of workers. For example, you could be entitled to the Agricultural Minimum Wage, rather than the National Minimum Wage.

The Scottish Government defines agricultural work as including:

  • Any activity to do with mainstream farming, for example dairy farming, arable farming, or sheep rearing,
  • The production of ‘consumable produce’ grown for consumption or other use after it has been harvested, including non-edible crops, e.g. bulbs, plants and flowers,
  • Using land as grazing, meadow, pasture, orchard, osier (willow), woodland or for market gardens or nursery grounds.

(Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.)

The minimum wage for an agricultural worker depends on your grade. Agricultural workers fall within grades one to six and deciding which grade applies depends on duties, responsibilities and/or qualifications. From 1 October 2014 there are two rates of pay. One is for workers who have been with their present employer for not more than 26 weeks and the other for workers who have been with their present employer for more than 26 weeks.

The Agricultural Minimum Wage rates are as follows:

All ages of worker:

  • Up to 26 weeks – 1 October 2014 – £6.50
  • After 26 weeks – 1 October 2014 – £7.14

(There are also separate conditions for trainees and apprentices)

Further changes for agricultural workers in Scotland can be found on the Scottish Government website and also includes information on:

  • Dog allowances
  • Overtime payments
  • Holiday entitlement
  • Absences due to ill-health
  • Health & safety training
  • Wet weather clothing
  • Stable Income Arrangement (SIA)
  • Pension entitlement
  • Daily rate of accommodation

If you have a question about the minimum wage, please contact Neil Cameron, Chiene + Tait Payroll Manager at or call 0131 558 5800.