BIG CUT IN RED TAPE FOR FARMERS AND GROWERS
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BIG CUT IN RED TAPE FOR FARMERS AND GROWERS

A campaign to make life simpler for farmers and growers in which Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff played an active part has succeeded.
Peter has been campaigning for many years for an end to the Agricultural Wages Board which stipulated a range of onerous and bureaucratic requirements for farmer and growers when they employ labour – despite the existence of the National Minimum Wage which offers all the protection agricultural workers need.

In a statement yesterday, the DEFRA minister Caroline Spelman said,

“A range of public bodies affiliated to DEFRA was established by the 1948 Agricultural Wages Act. Over time, this piece of legislation has become outdated,
inflexible and burdensome for farmers and workers. So today I am announcing that we will be seeking agreement with the Welsh Assembly Government to abolish the Agricultural Wages Board. In England, we will be taking measures to bring agricultural workers within the scope of the National Minimum Wage Act and my Department will be working closely with BIS to make the necessary amendments to the Act itself. We are discussing with the Welsh Assembly Government the arrangements they wish to propose in respect of Wales, and will agree with them measures for the abolition of the Committee on Agricultural Valuation and, separately, the Commons Commissioners. The 15 Agricultural Wages Committees and the 16 Agricultural Dwelling House Advisory Committees will also be abolished. Appropriate measures for effecting these changes will be brought forward as part of the Public Bodies (Reform) Bill. The cumulative effect of these changes will allow the agricultural industry to adopt flexible and modern employment practices in order to help ensure a vibrant and sustainable industry for the future.”

Commenting, Peter said,

“This is really good news for Worcestershire’s farmers and growers – it means a big cut in the red tape that they face. But people who work on farms have nothing to fear – in fact if it’s easier to employ people, people who will enjoy the full protection of the National Minimum Wage – there will probably be more local agricultural jobs too.

“This is a spectacular victory for commonsense. I am delighted.”


ENDS


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