Scottish Land & Estates has responded to today’s announcement that the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board is to continue performing its current functions.
The decision was made by the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food & Environment, Richard Lochhead MSP, following a review and public consultation. It was believed by many that there was a strong case for the abolition of the wages board which was introduced before modern employment legislation such as the National Minimum Wage and Working Time Directive were in place to protect workers.
Katy Dickson, Policy Officer (Business & Property) at Scottish Land & Estates, said: “We are disappointed that Mr Lochhead has come to the decision to retain the wages board, and his failure to properly acknowledge the support of almost three quarters of consultation respondents for its abolition is concerning. It was particularly interesting to see that the public consultation only received a single response from an agricultural employee and that person supported the abolition of the board.
“The Scottish Agricultural Wages Board was established in 1949 at a time when there was a need to protect agricultural workers’ pay and holidays through a wages board. We now have robust employment law such as the National Minimum Wage, Working Time Regulations and the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act which we believe can sufficiently guide and protect agricultural workers’ wages and rights just as it does for other industries.”