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Wales to keep farm workers' rights panel.

MINISTER for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies is seeking powers to establish an Agricultural Advisory Panel in a bid to protect the rights of 13,000 low-paid agricultural workers in Wales.

The Minister's announcement follows the UK Government's decision to abolish the Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales with effect from June 25.

Mr Davies said: "I was very disappointed by s the UK Government's decision to abolish the Agricultural Wages Board and was deeply worried that this move could have serious implications for agriculture and rural development in Wales. "If we take no action this move could detrimentally affect up to 13,000 agricultural workers in Wales, many of whom are low paid.

"I have therefore been actively exploring options for retaining the function of the Agricultural Wages Board here in Wales.

"And after careful consideration, I have decided to bring forward an Assembly Bill to preserve the effect of the Agricultural Wages Order in Wales after October 2013."

He said the proposed Bill would seek to provide Welsh Ministers with the power to establish an Agricultural Advisory Panel for Wales. The panel would then provide Welsh Ministers with advice on matters relating to the operation of the agricultural sector in Wales, including promoting up-skilling and careers in the industry.

The proposals for an Agricultural Advisory Panel for Wales are consistent with the Welsh Government's "Working smarter" objective to deliver professionally run farm businesses in Wales to contribute to a more prosperous and innovative economy.

The Agricultural Wages Board is to be abolished with immediate effect.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 2, 2013
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