Agriculture: Pay

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 18th November 2010.

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Photo of William Bain William Bain Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans her Department has for the future oversight of earnings and hours worked by agricultural and horticultural workers in England and Wales.

Photo of James Paice James Paice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We intend to abolish the Agricultural Wages Board and agricultural minimum wage regime, and to bring agricultural and horticultural workers in England and Wales within the framework of the national minimum wage legislation and working time regulations, in line with workers in all other sectors of the economy. This will require specific amendments to the relevant legislation, which will happen simultaneously with the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board.

The Low Pay Commission will be asked to include agricultural workers in its evidence gathering for recommendations on the national minimum wage rate.

Enforcement of the national minimum wage is carried out by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills, and HMRC will take on responsibility for enforcing the legislation in respect of agricultural and horticultural workers.

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