As the holiday year for agricultural employees is about to come to an end, employees need to have taken their full holiday entitlement by 31 December. Generally agricultural employees are not entitled to be paid extra for statutory holidays that they have not taken. The holiday entitlement varies depending on the number of days worked per week but for a standard five day week, an agricultural employee is entitled to 28 days holiday per year plus Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. If the number of days worked varies from week to week, the average number of days per week, over a 12 week period, will be used for the calculation.
The minimum hourly rate that each employee is entitled to depends on certain criteria. This rate is generally £7.50, however if an employer wishes to pay more than this rate, they can. Modern apprentices have a different rate and if employees are studying a Level 2 modern apprenticeship they are entitled to be paid a minimum of £4.14 per hour. This is only for the first 12 months of employment with the same employer and thereafter the minimum hourly rate goes up to £7.50.
The rate also varies if the employee holds certain agricultural or horticultural qualifications (SVQ Level 3, NC, HNC or HND) they are entitled to be paid an additional £1.14 per hour above the standard minimum of £7.50. This increase also applies to employees who hold a Level 3 Modern Apprenticeship, issued by Lantra, but only if the employee has been with the same employer for more than 26 weeks.
For any hours worked as overtime, this is calculated by multiplying the overtime hours at a minimum rate of £11.25 (time and a half of the standard hourly minimum). The overtime hours are established depending on how long the employee has worked for the employer. For the first 26 weeks of employment, overtime will be calculated for any hours worked in excess of 8 hours per day or 48 hours per week. For employees who have been in the same employment for over 26 weeks overtime will be paid on any hours worked in excess of 8 hours per day or 39 hours per week. It is either paid because the hours worked exceed 8 hours per day or 39 hours for a week but not both.
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The information in this blog should not be regarded as financial advice. This is based on our understanding in December 2017.