Agricultural workers will have special protection if they occupy tied accommodation which meets certain requirements:
A worker will not have an agricultural tenancy if they share the accommodation with the employer.
The employer must own the home the worker occupies or have arranged the accommodation
The job role must also meet certain requirements:
– working for 35 hours or more a week;
– employment in agriculture for at least 91 weeks of the last 104; and
– work for at least some of the time on maintaining crops, livestock, forestry, or tractors, and other equipment.
If you meet the above requirements, then the tenant may be an agricultural tenant. However, the type of tenancy they have varies depending on the commencement date of the tenancy.
Tenancies starting before 15 January 1989
A tenant will have a regulated tenancy if your agricultural tenancy started before 15 January 1989. This is also known as a statutory or protected agricultural tenancy and provides a great deal of security.
The worker’s right to occupy the property do not end even where they lose their job, retire, or where the property is sold. Even after a worker’s death, the tenancy can be passed to a spouse or partner or a member of their family in certain circumstances.
In most cases, the only way that an employer can evict a worker is to supply suitable alternative accommodation. Accommodation is only considered suitable if the new tenancy is another regulated tenancy or local council secure tenancy.
Tenancies starting after 15 January 1989
The tenant may have an assured agricultural occupancy if the agricultural tenancy started after 15 January 1989. Alternatively, the employer might have provided notice at the commencement of the tenancy that the occupation is not an assured agricultural tenancy but a standard assured shorthold tenancy. If such a notice was provided the worker will have a tenancy which provides relatively few rights.
However, as with tenancies starting before 15 January 1989, the right to live in the accommodation does not end when the job comes to an end. A worker has the right to occupy the property unless a court makes an eviction order.
Our services include:
– Advice regarding accommodation in the event of a worker leaving their job;
– Rent payments; and
Whether you are an employer or worker, if you need to talk to a lawyer, we are on hand to give advice and assistance tailored to your needs. This is a complex area of law especially because not all agricultural workers living in agricultural accommodation are agricultural tenants. Therefore, if there are issues regarding agricultural holdings advice should be sought as soon as practicably possible.