In addition to rising unemployment following the covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, Kiwis nationwide have seen their pay cheques cut. However, the recent Federated Farmers – Rabobank Farm Remuneration Report reveals pay packages in primary sector have been on the rise.
Between 2017/2018 and 2019/20, the mean total remuneration package (salary plus benefits) has increased significantly for farm employees across all sectors groups, the report confirms.
“Those who have the right attitude and show leadership potential can find a satisfying career pathway in front of them,” Federated Farmers president, Katie Milne, says. “The Remuneration Report aims to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for farmers employing staff… [it] is an indication of market rates. This is particularly important at a time when farmers are looking to attract new staff and retain existing staff.”
In addition, as the country seeks to rebuild in the wake of the pandemic, skilled staff in the primary industries should see greater job security, Ms Milne adds.
“We’ve seen during the Covid-19 pandemic that agriculture is an essential service and one of the nation’s economic pillars. Not only does a career in our sector offer very good job security and the satisfaction of working outdoors to produce quality food for families here and around the globe, it also offers competitive pay packages.”
Thanks to the banks?
Many businesses may be feeling the squeeze lately but, despite this, farmers are (overall) feeling more satisfied with their banks, Andrew Hoggard from Federated Farmers asserts.
“Satisfaction had slipped as a trend since we started this twice-yearly survey in August 2015 [but] this is the first positive change since then,” he says. “As in the past, our survey underlines how important it is for banks to treat their customers fairly and for farmers and banks to be proactive in their communications.”
Despite the pandemic, results from Federated Farmers May 2020 Banking Survey show the number of respondents who felt ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their bank increased from 68 percent to 69% in the past six months, and those feeling ‘under pressure’ dropped from 23% to just 19%.
Mr Hoggard adds that, while recent months have not been easy for farmers – primarily due to the pandemic and a lengthy drought – the Government and banks have launched a range of support initiaives, including the Farm Debt Mediation Scheme.