Hourly wage for self employed worker

Young shepherd

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Sussex
I’m a self employed farm worker mainly calf rearing, lambing, some tractor work and holiday and sickness cover.
I’ve recently been asked by another farm to rear calves and they said I was too cheap and should be asking more. I’ve 15 years experience of livestock and tractor / jcb work, my own truck and working dog.

Interested to know what I should be charging.

Thanks 😊
 

B R C

Member
Arable Farmer
Well, starting point, minimum wage is £9 hr, that is on an employed basis. On a self employed basis you need to add 20-30% on that as you don’t get the employed benefits of paid holiday, ni, and pension. So that’s nearly £12 an hour for a position with little or no responsibility. How much are you worth over this? Also how many hours a week would you be doing as if say 50 then the last 10 should really be at time and a half so would need to add an extra pound to rate if you are working for flat rate. I would say £14-£15 hr. Milage payments for truck when used for work and contribution for dog if used for work.
It could of course be higher if responsibilities are more or lower if there are plenty of people willing to work for less, but I doubt it…
If you are doing all your hours on one farm you should not accept being self employed, you should be on the books no question. If the owner wants you to be self employed then it really just shows that they regard you as cheap labour rather than an asset to the business and you will be valued accordingly…
 
Last edited:

starkey92

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Suffolk
Self employed tractor drivers seem to be around £12-15 p/hr here in Suffolk currently. Don't forget to account for deprecation and costs for the pickup and dog if you're using them. They will need replacing at some point so they should be a cost on top of your labor IMO. If I took a tractor with me to do a job I would be charging more than just labor!!
 
Location
southwest
No ordinary farmer is going to pay £500 /wk , week in week out.

No you are right, but the reason for using S.E workers is that you only use and pay them when needed-eg for 3 or 4 months for calf rearing which might just be a couple of hours at each end of the day.

It might also be an idea to work out how much staff cost you atm. Minimum wage for a 40 hr week is just shy of £19k per year before NI and Pension contributions. That's for a "no skills" numpty who probably needs fairly constant supervision. Any skilled stockman/tractor driver would be worth more than £10/hr and certainly worth the £500/wk referred to
 
Location
southwest
Well, starting point, minimum wage is £9 hr, that is on an employed basis. On a self employed basis you need to add 20-30% on that as you don’t get the employed benefits of paid holiday, ni, and pension. So that’s nearly £12 an hour for a position with little or no responsibility. How much are you worth over this? Also how many hours a week would you be doing as if say 50 then the last 10 should really be at time and a half so would need to add an extra pound to rate if you are working for flat rate. I would say £14-£15 hr. Milage payments for truck when used for work and contribution for dog if used for work.
It could of course be higher if responsibilities are more or lower if there are plenty of people willing to work for less, but I doubt it…
If you are doing all your hours on one farm you should not accept being self employed, you should be on the books no question. If the owner wants you to be self employed then it really just shows that they regard you as cheap labour rather than an asset to the business and you will be valued accordingly…

I doubt if many SE agricultural workers can guarantee getting anywhere close to 40 hrs/week 52 weeks of the year.

Unless they are a relief milker, they will be the first to be told "Don't come in today" when it's peeing down.
 

Young shepherd

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Sussex
Well, starting point, minimum wage is £9 hr, that is on an employed basis. On a self employed basis you need to add 20-30% on that as you don’t get the employed benefits of paid holiday, ni, and pension. So that’s nearly £12 an hour for a position with little or no responsibility. How much are you worth over this? Also how many hours a week would you be doing as if say 50 then the last 10 should really be at time and a half so would need to add an extra pound to rate if you are working for flat rate. I would say £14-£15 hr. Milage payments for truck when used for work and contribution for dog if used for work.
It could of course be higher if responsibilities are more or lower if there are plenty of people willing to work for less, but I doubt it…
If you are doing all your hours on one farm you should not accept being self employed, you should be on the books no question. If the owner wants you to be self employed then it really just shows that they regard you as cheap labour rather than an asset to the business and you will be valued accordingly…
Thank you for replying, I have regular work on 3 farms and the odd bit on small holdings, pet sheep etc, as well as my own livestock and firewood business.
My hours vary on each farm depending on time of year, can be a morning or afternoon or all day or even just 2-3 hours.
 

B R C

Member
Arable Farmer
Thank you for replying, I have regular work on 3 farms and the odd bit on small holdings, pet sheep etc, as well as my own livestock and firewood business.
My hours vary on each farm depending on time of year, can be a morning or afternoon or all day or even just 2-3 hours.
That sounds like quite a good mix as you can potentially do your own work when not required on other farms? This is important as you can soon reduce income drastically if there are half days here and there where you are not working.
 
Location
southwest
I charge £13 too place I work but they garuntee me 40 hours a week all year round if I want it… if I was too go places randomly for the odd day here and there or the odd week here and there would be £15

If you don't work anywhere else on a regular basis, you would be classed as an employee by HMRC.

There's a test you can do on the internet, if you want to check.
 

Hilly

Member
I’m a self employed farm worker mainly calf rearing, lambing, some tractor work and holiday and sickness cover.
I’ve recently been asked by another farm to rear calves and they said I was too cheap and should be asking more. I’ve 15 years experience of livestock and tractor / jcb work, my own truck and working dog.

Interested to know what I should be charging.

Thanks 😊
Do the people who tell you to cheap not offer you a job ?
 

tepapa

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North Wales
You can't base it on pounds per hour.
Turn up for 2 hours work at £10=£20. Travel cost to farm in fuel and running costs £5. So your only making £15.
Turn up for 8 hours and you make £75.
You need a fixed amount of money or guaranteed hours to make it worth going. You could say your first hour is £30 and then £15/HR after that so you cover vehicle costs and dead time traveling etc
 

Electricfencer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cotswolds
I charge £13 too place I work but they garuntee me 40 hours a week all year round if I want it… if I was too go places randomly for the odd day here and there or the odd week here and there would be £15
I do 16 hour a week for someone week in week out and charge £12/hour but do feel Iv learnt a hell of a lot working there as well. But charge £15 (up to £20 if I'm not that keen on the job or I feel I'm just doing the hard work) for none regular work.
 

Bullring

Member
Location
Cornwall
This is where it’s all wrong, you supply your own dog, truck, drive expensive machinery and have responsibilities to rear somebody else’s livestock or operate big expensive machinery and have to fork out for your own insurance and no paid holidays yet you could earn £10-£12 per hour stacking shelves in supermarkets or buy a lawnmower for £500 and cut grass for £20-£25 per hour.
 

35% of English and Welsh farmers possibly/probably depressed

  • 153
  • 3
Written by Michelle Martin from Agriland

The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) has today, Thursday, October 14, published the findings of The Big Farming Survey, which shows 35% of English and Welsh farmers are either possibly or probably depressed.

The survey, based on over 15,000 responses, concentrates on the health and well-being of the farming community in England and Wales in the 2020s.

The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) is a national charity that provides support to the farming community across England and Wales.

Mental health​


Mental well-being, the survey notes, describes our ability to cope with the ‘ups and downs’ of everyday life.

According to the survey, 14% of the farming community is ‘possibly depressed’ while...
Top