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Federated Farmers/Rabobank Farm Employee Remuneration Survey

11 June 2014

2014 Federated Farmers/Rabobank Farm Employee Remuneration Survey, shows incomes ahead of the pack

Federated Farmers and Rabobank have released the 2014 Farm Employee Remuneration Report in time for the 2014 National Agricultural Fieldays. This year’s report is available to members online or in print and is also presented in a new format for ease of use.

“Our research partner IPSOS has collated data on 4,153 employment positions in the dairy, sheep, beef and arable sectors thanks to the input of 1,207 Federated Farmers’ members,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers employment spokesperson.

“This is our largest ever cross section for the farm remuneration report and may help to dispel assumptions about New Zealand’s leading export industries.

“The recent People Powered report showed that dairy will need 2,300 new workers between now and 2025, while the arable sector will need 4,700 more workers by 2025.

“In 2025 the red meat and wool workforce is expected to have shrunk by 5,100 roles but unskilled positions are the most affected. The need for roles with formal qualifications is actually expected to increase by 11,400 so there is plenty of opportunity.

“Given our survey was in the field late 2013, the closest comparison to those working outside the farmgate is StatisticsNZ’s median weekly earnings for people in paid employment. In the year to June 2013, but released last October, it returned median annual earnings of $43,368.

“By comparison, we found the mean salary for dairy workers was $46,017 for a mean 51 hour working week. This translates into a mean hourly rate of $18.44 excluding benefits. Accommodation was also provided for 77 percent of the roles surveyed.

“For sheep and beef workers the mean salary was $45,863. This was based on a mean 45 hour working week translating into a higher mean hourly rate over dairy of $20.67 excluding benefits. Accommodation was provided for 56 percent of the roles surveyed.

“We found the arable sector generated the highest mean salary for pastoral agriculture of $48,814. This was based on a mean 46 hour working week returning a mean hourly rate of $20.99 excluding benefits. Benefits like accommodation were provided for 44 percent of the arable roles we surveyed.

“The 2014 report found the average length of service in dairy was two years and four years in both arable and sheep/beef sectors.

“Another fact that may dispel assumptions is that the vast majority of our employees, 86 percent in fact, are New Zealand citizens. The proportion of migrant labour was unsurprisingly highest in dairying at 14 percent but overwhelmingly Kiwis dominate.

“In light of recent Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment research into dairy employment practices, we can report a gradual professionalisation of employment practices.

“We found 87 percent of farm employers are using written employment contracts versus 83.5 percent in 2013. In reality this figure needs to be 100 percent because being deficient here can put your business into employment law quicksand.

“Half of the farms surveyed were using the Federation’s industry standard contracts rising to 60 percent for full time positions. These contracts are tested, proven and cost effective.

“It also needs to be noted how low the cost is of these vital contracts and agreements. The member price from 0800 FARMING for our standard employment contract is just $60 while our new comprehensive employment pack is just $120 plus GST of course.

“Another thing to note is the mismatch of the city based unemployed to where the rural jobs are. Given 35 percent of employers reported it as being ‘not at all easy’ or ‘not very easy’ to find skilled or motivated employees, this suggests urban people with the right attitudes ought to be considering the primary industries.

“Our report also highlighted farm worker training as a topic which is in need of address by the wider industry. With only a third of employers reporting that they provided structured training opportunities for staff, there is significant room for improvement in this area.

“While this media release covers high level data the full report is available to members as a free download that breaks data down by position, level and region,” concluded Ms Milne.

Non-members can purchase the report either online at www.fedfarm.org.nz or by calling 0800 327 646.

Federated Farmers/Rabobank Farm Employee Remuneration Survey 2014 Highlights

ABOUT RABOBANK NEW ZEALAND
Rabobank New Zealand is part of the world’s leading food and agribusiness specialist bank, Rabobank. As one of New Zealand’s largest rural lenders, Rabobank plays an integral part and is a significant provider of corporate financial services to the food and agribusiness sectors in New Zealand. Rabobank's success lies in its people and its structurewhich allows it to leverage its expert knowledge and global strength to deliver superior client relationships and value.

ABOUT FEDERATED FARMERS
Federated Farmers’ origins date back to 1899 and since that time it has been the strong advocate for New Zealand farmers, acting on their behalf as well as providing information that supports sustainable and profitable farming. Farmers rely on sound qualified information and this survey provides remuneration data for a very important asset; the farm employees who help run the farming operation.

2014 REPORT
The full pdf version of the 2014 report is available to members as a free download. To do this, simply login to the Federation’s shop and download. If member login details have been lost either use the online recovery or call 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING) for advice. A superbly presented hard copy is available to members for just $60+GST and to non-members for $300+GST.

2014 REPORT SUMMARY


Position Mean Total Package Value* % Change
Dairy Assistant $40,425 1.6
Dairy Assistant Herd Manager $47,200 2
Dairy Herd Manager $54,437 -2.9
Dairy Farm Manager $68,877 -2.1
Dairy Operations Manager $75,989 9.6
Position Mean Total Package Value % Change
Sheep/Beef General Hand $42,942 2.3
Sheep/Beef Shepherd $46,669 -0.5
Sheep/Beef Head Shepherd $50,624 -8.8
Sheep/Beef Stock Manager $59,780 7.2
Sheep/Beef Farm Manager $64,044 -4
Position Mean Total Package Value % Change
Grains Tractor/Machinery driver $46,045 -3.4
Grains Senior Tractor/Machinery driver $53,239 -4.6
Grains Farm Manager $69,750 5.1

*An employee’s salary plus any other benefits equals their total package value (eg, power, food, internet, vehicle, training support, KiwiSaver, bonuses etc). This table is illustrative only as the full report details salary and TPV by occupation level and by region. It further includes part time/causal data too.

REPORT METHODOLOGY
Ipsos Ltd operates a management system that complies with the requirements of ISO20252. All members of Federated Farmers were invited to participate in the survey either by email or by sending a hard copy survey to their postal address.

Research target group:
The research target group for this project were all Federated Farmers members who have employees. In order to reach this group, invitations to participate were sent to all members of Federated Farmers.

Fieldwork dates:
The fieldwork was conducted between the 30th of October and 18th of December 2013. Some paper surveys were received after this date, but have not been included in the analysis. Overall response rate is 21 percent – this is based on anyone who started the survey online or returned the paper questionnaire. Incidence rate is 44 percent – this is the percentage of those who qualified for (i.e. had staff members) and completed the survey out of those who responded.

Data collection method:
Two methods were used to collect data for this report: the first was an online questionnaire, and the second, a hard copy questionnaire. Those who have provided Federated Farmers with an email address were sent an invitation to participate in the online version of the survey. All other members were sent a hard copy version of the questionnaire along with the invitation. The invitation sent to members had the support of DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ and the Foundation for Arable Research. After the initial email invitation was sent out to members, those who had not yet completed the survey were sent two reminder emails to encourage participation. Those with only postal addresses received just one copy of the survey. Reminders were also included in the Friday Flash newsletter. Data cleaning was undertaken to ensure lack of ambiguity in the data.

ENDS

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