Seasonal work on farms and horticulture units

Guidance for workers about seasonal work you can do on farms and horticulture production units, who can apply and where you can find jobs.

Seasonal work

Seasonal work on farms/ horticulture units is suitable for people with all levels of experience. You don’t need to have done this kind of work before as the farm will provide training.

The work:

  • can be indoors or outdoors depending on the crop
  • is physical, involving frequent lifting and carrying of items or operating machinery

You’ll need to:

  • be able to make a time commitment to the farm - most farms are looking for full time workers
  • consider travel arrangements as the farm may be in a rural area or live on the farm in employer provided accommodation for a charge

Information on accommodation charges can be found at:

 Furloughed workers

If you’re ‘on furlough’ from your job you can apply for seasonal work as long as your job contract says you can do other work. ‘On furlough’ is when your employer has kept you on the payroll even though there is no work because of coronavirus (COVID-19). You’ll still be entitled to receive 80 per cent of your usual wages from the government.

You should check your job contract to make sure you’re allowed to do other work.

Keeping safe

Farm workers, as long as they follow the government guidelines, can work safely, are key workers.

Farming and growing businesses must keep you safe by:

  • making sure premises are clean
  • having social distancing measures in place
  • offering safe and clean accommodation if needed (usually at a small cost)
  • making sure any transport they offer meets safety guidelines

For more information read the guidelines and sector specific guidance on social distancing in the workplace.

Where to look for jobs

You can look for seasonal jobs on farms/ horticultural production units from:

  • Jobcentreonline – use the search term “seasonal worker”
  • growers who recruit directly - check for local opportunities
  • social media – Jobs and Benefits NI and Communities NI twitter accounts
  • company websites which are likely to have more opportunities for work over the summer

Employers actively recruiting

If you’re an employer, actively recruiting, find information on how to promote your vacancies at:

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