Agricultural Wages in Scotland to remain at 2015-16 rates

22 September 2016

22 September 2016

The Scottish Agricultural Wages Board (SAWB) has confirmed that they will not be changing their rates from 1 October 2016. In order to align the dates with changes to the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage, any updates will come into effect from 1 April 2017.

With effect from 1 October 2016, the UK Government will introduce amendments to the rates detailed in the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for workers aged up to and including 24 years of age. The hourly rate for the National Living Wage (NLW) for workers aged 25 and over will remain at £7.20 per hour as set on 1 April 2016.

The NMW and the Agricultural Wages Order in Scotland have historically been updated with effect from 1 October each year. However with the introduction of the NLW, which runs on a different calendar cycle, the UK Government has decided to change the NMW timeframe in order to align with the revised timeframe of the NLW.

This means that the NMW update for October 2016 will run for 6 months before requiring revision on 1 April 2017 along with revised rates for the NLW. In order to match the calendar for the NMW, the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board has decided to delay its annual wages negotiations until later in the year so that Order 64 is introduced with effect from 1 April 2017. This will ensure that the Order is in alignment with the NMW and NLW.

Order 63 will therefore remain in force until 1 April 2017. In terms of NMW / NLW compliance employers will need to ensure that they comply with the appropriate UK legislation during the intervening period. Where the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage become higher than the hourly or other minimum rate of pay prescribed under Wages Order 63, the Board is taken to have made an Order fixing minimum rates equal to the NMW and the NLW.

Where these circumstances apply, employers affected by the Order will be required to pay minimum rates of pay equal to the NMW and the NLW in respect of any period beginning at or after the time when the NMW and NLW become higher than the minimum rates under this Order.