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Agricultural Wages Act 1948

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[F13 Power of Agricultural Wages Board to fix wages, holidays and other terms and conditions.E+W

(1)Subject to and in accordance with the provisions of this section, the Board shall have power, for each county for which an agricultural wages committee is established under this Act, to make an order in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 4 to this Act—

(a)fixing minimum rates of wages;

(b)directing holidays to be allowed;

(c)fixing any other terms and conditions of employment;

for workers employed in agriculture.

(2)The power of the Board to make an order under subsection (1)(a) of this section fixing minimum rates of wages is a power to make an order—

(a)fixing minimum rates for time work;

(b)fixing minimum rates for piece work;

(c)fixing minimum rates for time work, to apply in the case of workers employed on piece work, for the purpose of securing to such workers a minimum rate of remuneration on a time work basis; or

(d)fixing separate minimum rates by way of pay in respect of holidays:

Provided that the minimum time rate for piece work shall not in any case be higher than the minimum rate which, if the work were time work, would be applicable thereto by virtue of paragraph (a) of this subsection.

(2A)It shall be the duty of the Board to make an order under this section fixing such minimum rates of wages for time work as are referred to in paragraph (a) of the last preceding subsection.

[F2(2B)No minimum rate fixed under this section which is an hourly rate shall be less than the national minimum wage.

(2C)No minimum rate fixed under this section which is a rate other than an hourly rate shall be such as to yield a less amount of wages for each hour worked than the hourly amount of the national minimum wage.]

(3)An order under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section directing that a worker shall be allowed a holiday—

(a)shall not be made unless both minimum rates of wages in respect of the period of the holiday and minimum rates of wages otherwise than in respect of the holiday have been or are being fixed under this section for that worker;

(b)shall provide for the duration of the holiday’s being related to the duration of the period for which the worker has been employed or engaged to be employed by the employer who is to allow the holiday; and

(c)subject as aforesaid, may make provision as to the times at which or the periods within which, and the circumstances in which, the holiday shall be allowed.

(3A)An order under this section fixing separate minimum rates of wages in respect of holidays may make provision—

(a)with respect to the times at which, and the conditions subject to which, those wages shall accrue and shall become payable, and

(b)for securing that any such wages which have accrued to a worker during his employment by any employer shall, in the event of his ceasing to be employed by that employer before he becomes entitled to be allowed a holiday by him, nevertheless become payable by the employer to the worker.

(4)Any such minimum rates of wages as are mentioned in subsection (2) of this section may be fixed so as to vary according as the employment is for a day, week, month or other period, or according to the number of working hours, or the conditions of the employment, or so as to provide for a differential rate in the case of employment defined by the Board as being overtime employment, whether that employment is remunerated on a time work or a piece work basis.

In the exercise of their powers under this subsection, the Board shall, so far as is reasonably practicable, secure a weekly half-holiday for workers.

(5)An order under this section shall have effect as regards any terms as to renumeration from a date specified in the order, which may be a date earlier than the date of the order but not earlier than the date on which the Board agreed on those terms prior to publishing (in accordance with Schedule 4 to this Act) the original proposals to which effect is given, with or without modifications, by the order.

(6)Any increase of wages payable by virtue of an order under this section in respect of any time before the date of the order (hereafter in this Act referred to as arrears of wages) shall be paid by the employer within a period specified in the order being—

(a)in the case of a worker who is in the employment of the employer on that date, a period beginning with that date;

(b)in the case of a worker who is no longer in the employment of the employer on that date a period beginning with that date or the date on which the employer receives from the worker or a person acting on his behalf a request in writing for those wages, whichever is the later.

(7)Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing the Board fixing a minimum rate of wages so as to secure that workers employed in agriculture receive remuneration calculated by reference to periods during the currency of their employment.

[F3(8)If the Board make, or purport to make, an order fixing a minimum rate under this section—

(a)which is an hourly rate but which is lower than the national minimum wage in force when that minimum rate comes into effect, or

(b)which is a rate other than an hourly rate but which is such as to yield a less amount of wages for each hour worked than the hourly amount of the national minimum wage in force when that minimum rate comes into effect,

they shall be taken to have made an order fixing in place of that minimum rate a minimum rate equal to the national minimum wage or, as the case may be, a minimum rate such as to yield an amount of wages for each hour worked equal to the hourly amount of the national minimum wage.

(9)If, at any time after a minimum rate which is an hourly rate comes into effect under this section, the national minimum wage becomes higher than that minimum rate, then, as respects any period beginning at or after that time, the Board shall be taken to have made an order fixing in place of that minimum rate a minimum rate equal to the national minimum wage.

(10)If, at any time after a minimum rate other than an hourly rate comes into effect under this section, the national minimum wage is increased to such a level that that minimum rate yields a less amount of wages for each hour worked than the hourly amount of the national minimum wage, then, as respects any period beginning at or after that time, the Board shall be taken to have made an order fixing in place of that minimum rate a minimum rate such as to yield an amount of wages for each hour worked equal to the hourly amount of the national minimum wage.

(11)Subsections (8) to (10) of this section are without prejudice to the power of the Board to make further orders under this section fixing any minimum rates.

(12)Where an order under this section fixes any particular minimum rate of wages by reference to two or more component rates, of which—

(a)one is the principal component, and

(b)the other or others are supplemental or additional components,

(as in a case where the minimum rate for night work is fixed as the sum of the minimum rate payable in respect of work other than night work and a supplemental or additional minimum rate in respect of working at night) the national minimum wage provisions of this section apply in relation to the principal component rate and not the supplemental or additional component rates.

(13)The national minimum wage provisions of this section do not apply in relation to any minimum rate which is in the nature of an allowance payable in respect of some particular responsibility or circumstance (as in a case where a minimum rate is fixed in respect of being required to keep a dog).

(14)The national minimum wage provisions of this section do not apply in relation to any minimum rate fixed under this section—

(a)by virtue of subsection (2)(d) of this section, or

(b)by virtue of section 67 of the M1Agriculture Act 1967 (sick pay),

unless and to the extent that regulations under section 2 of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 make provision which has the effect that circumstances or periods in respect of which the minimum rate in question is required to be paid to a worker are treated as circumstances in which, or times at which, a person is to be regarded as working.

(15)In this section “the national minimum wage provisions of this section” means subsections (2B), (2C) and (8) to (10) of this section.]]

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C2S. 3(7) amended ibid., s. 67(2)

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