The NFU has launched a post-Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) employer information pack advising on employement issues.
The pack has been created in response to the abolition of the AWB for England and Wales and the Agricultural Wages Order. It contains a breakdown of the issues and offers practical guidance and information on how employers have to deal with both new and existing staff and other employment related matters.
In particular, employers should be aware that the terms of the Order will still apply to existing workers even after October 1 2013, says the NFU.
The NFU recommends employers take legal advice before they make changes to existing workers’ terms and conditions and when taking on new ones. High on the list of priorities should be to ensure businesses are not breaching the Agricultural Wages Order up until September 30, which could see claimants recouping for underpayments for up to six years of payments from the date of the breach if farmers are not compliant.
NFU chief economist Phil Bicknell said: "NFU farmer and grower members should make sure they get hold of the information pack and read through to ensure their businesses are not in breach of any regulations.
"It is all too easy when running a business to overlook updates in legislation and changes in practice, but the penalties for doing so can be severe.