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Farming salaries holding firm in spite of tough conditions

2015 Employee Remuneration survey shows farming salaries holding firm in spite of tough conditions

Federated Farmers and Rabobank’s 2015 employee remuneration report shows farm employee remuneration is rising despite tough industry conditions.

Salaries across the industry groups generally were equal at entry level, though some dairy farming employees, such as dairy farm managers, had higher salaries compared with their sheep and beef counterparts.

Federated Farmers Dairy Industry Group Chair, Andrew Hoggard, said it had been a fairly unfavourable year for farming all round, especially in the dairy industry, with returns down 40 per cent.

“That said the survey shows farm staff wages are increasing, .Generally employers are happy with their staff, with 77 per cent saying they are very satisfied or extremely satisfied with their employees. That proves staff is valued and challenges the mainstream perception that farm workers are not rewarded,” Mr Hoggard said.

The report also says there has been a decrease in working hours.

“This might be due to new survey questions this year, which mean we are now getting a truer indicator of actual hours worked.”

“People tend to concentrate on hours farm employees work in the busiest time of year and overlook the fact that hours fluctuate markedly from season to season. There are quiet times of the year as well.”

Mr Hoggard said the report once again highlighted that package extras, such as food, vehicle use and electricity, are over and above the salary.

“More than 80 per cent of employees are using farming houses. These benefits can reach several thousands of dollars.”

Mr Hoggard welcomed the results showing farmers were now better at keeping employee data, with three quarters formally recording working hours.

There is still a lot of work to do but this year’s results show we are heading in the right direction and it reminds all farmers that they are obliged to keep time records. We would also encourage all payroll system providers to look into ways their products can assist farmers to record all this in a much more user friendly manner,” he said.


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