The UK’s opposition Labour party has pledged to re-establish the Agricultural Wages Board, abolished by the Tory government in 2013. The AWB, established by Labour in 1948, set minimal pay rates and other conditions for rural workers, including sick pay, holidays and paid rest breaks.
Labour’s pledge to re-establish the AWB as part of its broader fight against low pay would re-instate the government’s authority to set minimum rates for rural workers in England. In other parts of the UK, the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland still retain some authority to set minimum rural pay rates and conditions.
The IUF actively supported the campaign to keep the AWB from destruction by the Tories. Winding up the Board was estimated at the time to strip some GBP 149 million from low-paid rural workers’ wages.