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Agricultural Wages (Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 1977

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Penalties and legal proceedingsN.I.

9.—(1) Where any minimum rate of wages has been made effective by an order of the Board under this Order, any person who employs a worker in agriculture shall, in cases to which the minimum rate is applicable, pay wages to the worker at a rate not less than the minimum rate and, if he fails to do so, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction in respect of each offence to a fine not exceeding[F1 level 2 on the standard scale]F1 and to a fine not exceeding £1 for each day on which the offence is continued after conviction.

(2) In any proceedings against an employer under this Article the court shall, whether or not there is a conviction or a fine is imposed order the employer to pay to the worker such sum as may be found by the court to represent the difference between the amount which ought, at the minimum rate applicable to have been paid by the employer to the worker during the period of six months immediately preceding the date on which the information was laid or the complaint was served and the amount actually paid by the employer to the worker during that period.

(3) Where an employer has been convicted under this Article for failing to pay wages to any worker at not less than the minimum rate applicable, then, if notice of intention so to do has been served with the summons, warrant or complaint, evidence may be given of any failure on the part of the employer to pay wages to that worker, at not less than the minimum rate applicable to him, at any time during the eighteen months immediately preceding the period of six months mentioned in paragraph (2); and on proof of the failure the court may order the employer to pay to the worker such sum as is found by the court to represent the difference between the amount which ought to have been paid to the worker by way of wages at the minimum rate applicable during those eighteen months and the amount actually so paid.

(4) Where an offence for which an employer is under this Article liable to a fine has in fact been committed by some agent of the employer or other person, that agent or other person shall be liable to be proceeded against for the offence in the same manner as if he were the employer, and either together with the employer, or before or after the employer is proceeded against, and shall be liable on conviction to the same punishment as that to which the employer is liable.

(5) It shall be a defence for an employer who is charged with an offence under this Article to prove that he has used due diligence to secure compliance with the provisions of this Order, and that the offence was in fact committed by his agent or some other person without his knowledge, consent or connivance.

(6) Notwithstanding any enactment prescribing the time within which proceedings may be brought before a court of summary jurisdiction, proceedings for an offence under this Article may be brought within twelve months from the date of the commission of the alleged offence.

(7) Where it appears to the Department that a sum is due from an employer to a worker on account of the payment of wages to him at less than the minimum rate applicable, or by reason of any direction given by the Board for the payment of an additional sum by way of wages for piece work, the Department may institute, on behalf or in the name of the worker, civil proceedings before any court of competent jurisdiction for the recovery of the same sum; so however that in any such civil proceedings instituted by the Department the court shall have the same power to make an order for the payment of expenses by the Department as if it were a party to the proceedings.

(8) Where a permit granted in respect of a worker under Article 6 contains a condition for the payment of wages to the worker at a rate not less than the rate specified in the permit, the amount of wages which may be recovered from an employer of the worker pursuant to paragraph (2), (3) or (7) of this Article shall, as respects any period during which the permit had effect, be calculated on the basis of the rate so specified, instead of on the basis of the minimum rate.

(9) The powers given by this Article for the recovery of sums due from an employer to a worker shall not be in derogation of any right of the worker to recover such sums by any other proceedings.

(10) Any agreement for the payment of wages in contravention of this Order, or for abstaining from exercising any right of enforcing the payment of wages in accordance with this Order, shall be void.

(11) Subject to any determination under this Order of the benefits or advantages which may be reckoned as payment of wages in lieu of cash and the value at which they are to be reckoned, and to any limitation or prohibition under this Order of the reckoning of benefits or advantages as payment of wages in lieu of cash, the court shall, in any proceedings under this Order, reckon as a payment of wages such amount as represents the value of any benefits or advantages (not being benefits or advantages prohibited by law) received by a worker under the terms of his employment.

(12) Every person who employs a worker in agriculture, in any case to which a minimum rate of wages is applicable, shall keep records showing that the provisions of this Order are being complied with as respects that worker, and if such an employer fails to do so he shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction in respect of each offence to a fine not exceeding[F1 level 2 on the standard scale]F1 and to a fine not exceeding £1 for each day on which the offence is continued after conviction.

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F11984 NI 3

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