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Rights of Agricultural and Farm Workers

Information in this section explains agricultural workers' rights in the United Kingdom. It includes holiday leave, pay rates, overtime, and the agricultural minimum wage. This list of entitlements applies to agricultural workers in England employed before the 1st October 2013. It also includes all agricultural workers in Wales.


As a rule, most agricultural workers get:

Note: Employment rights for farm workers employed from the 1st of October 2013 in England differ from those in Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland also have their own rules for agricultural workers’ rights.

Agricultural Rights for Trainees

Farm workers’ rights for trainees differ to the standard rights of agricultural and farm workers. Variances include no paid holidays and specific agricultural pay rates during their training.

Expert Help and Advice

Employees who started work before the 1st of October 2013 in England can contact ACAS for advice. You can contact them through the ACAS helpline or through the ACAS Helpline Online.

Contact the Rural Payments agency if you want to make a complaint. For further advice on wages and rights in Wales you can contact:

Sustainable Land Management Branch
Telephone: 0300 062 2298
Email: [email protected]

Sustainable Land Management Branch Address
Welsh government
Rhodfa Padarn, Llanbadarn Fawr
Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3UR

Terms and Conditions for Agricultural Workers

Farm Workers in England

The terms and conditions of employment for workers employed in England before 1st October 2013 are set out in the ‘Agricultural Wages (England and Wales) Order 2012’.

Farm Workers in Wales

In Wales, employers give new agriculture workers an ‘Agricultural Wage Order’. It includes most of the standard terms and conditions of employment. They must also provide all their employees with a ‘written statement of employment particulars‘.

What is an Agricultural Worker?

Agricultural Workers' Rights in the United KingdomAn agricultural worker gets classed as someone who works in:

  • The business of farming and rearing of animals (livestock).
  • The industry of growing produce for sale. This can include growing non-edible crops grown by horticultural farms.
  • Forestry, market gardens, or nurseries.
  • The upkeep of woodlands, reed beds, or meadows and pastures.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list. The Acas helpline has a full list of jobs descriptions classed as agricultural work.


Agricultural Pay and Overtime

Review a current list of farm worker pay rates and how the grading system affects weekly pay and hourly overtime for agricultural workers.

Grades and Categories

Agricultural worker grade and category determine your rights, entitlements, and minimum wages. Check a section explaining the differences between farm job grades and categories.

Agricultural Tenancies

An employer may provide accommodation through an agricultural tenancy. The guide clarifies the rules for farm workers who live in tied accommodation.

Gangmasters in Farming

An individual, agency, or company that provides workers for farming is better known as a ‘gangmaster’. Check what licences agricultural gangmasters must have to provide workers for farms.

Note: You can check how the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) protects workers from labour exploitation and how to report issues.

Changes to Employment Terms

The change in employment terms and conditions applies to workers starting a new job in agriculture or horticulture in England from the 1st of October 2013.

Agricultural Workers’ Rights on Farms in United Kingdom