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Benefits in Kind
Published 1 September 10
Many agricultural positions include benefits such as accommodation, the provision of meals and even the payment of some household bills. The Agricultural Wages Order (AWO) defines how much an employer can deduct from a worker's wage for the provision of such benefits. View the AWO.
In Northern Ireland:
Some benefits in kind may be taxable. Benefits that may be provided to employees on which they generally pay no tax include:
- Free workplace meals.
- Accommodation provided free or at below market rent, and heating costs, electricity, Council Tax or other rates, where it is deemed necessary for an employee to live in the accommodation to perform their duties properly.
- Vehicles provided solely for business use.
- Work and safety clothes and equipment provided by the employer.
- Any work-related training courses which the employer pays for.
- Reasonable removal expenses if an employee moves to take up a new job.
- Equipment provided by employers for a disabled employee that enable them to carry out their job.
- Contributions paid by an employer into an approved occupational or personal pension scheme.
Any benefits in kind that are taxable are recorded on a P11D form sent to HMRC, but generally only if the employee has earned at least a current minimum level of earnings in the year, including the value of the benefits. Such benefits that are taxable might include:
- A company vehicle available for private use.
- Private medical insurance provided by an employer.
- Interest free loans provided by an employer.
For further information about dealing with benefits in kind
Accomodation and tenancy
Tenant rights depend upon the rent paid (if any) and also on whether the worker is employed or self-employed:
- Where accommodation is provided as part of the job at little or no rent and no formal tenancy agreement exists, the tenancy would not normally qualify for protection under the Housing Act 1988 unless the worker has been employed in agriculture full-time for 91 of the last 104 weeks, in which case they qualify as an agricultural worker under the Housing Act 1988 and have the full protection of the act. They also qualify for specific re-housing arrangements that apply to agricultural workers.
- Self-employed workers paying less than £250/year in rent are "excluded occupiers", benefitting from few tenancy rights which means that they can be evicted at short notice. Where a self-employed worker pays more than £250/year in rent they have standard rights under the Housing Act 1988. In order to define whether a worker is effectively self-employed see
Further information about the Housing Act 1988