Salaries and Rates Guidelines 2024

Following last year’s recommended pay increase of 7%, which was relatively restrained in the economic climate at the time, the PGG recommends a 4.5% increase across the range for 2024. This reflects an 4.4% rise in the RPI, a 4% rise in the CPI, a 4.4% rise in the CIPH (all figures from the Office of National Statistics) and average pay growth for the private sector of between 4 and 4.5% (figures reported by Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development) together with a 9.8% rise in the National Living Wage. We are conscious that inflation continues to be above government targets, whilst large increases in the costs of energy, food and household goods must be taken into account. The PGG also recognises a continued increase in demand for skilled and experienced gardeners, and aims to see that their members are remunerated appropriately.

Gardens Manager – recommended band £44,961 to £64,567+ 

Role Profile:
Reports to: Owner, Property Manager, Board of Trustees or similar.
Line management responsibility: 10 – 50 employees supervised.
Budget responsibility: £300,000 plus, comprising both expenses and wages.

Knowledge, skills and experience:

  • NVQ Level 4 or equivalent together with substantial horticultural experience.
  • Formal management training allied with proven management experience.
  • Budget planning and control skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • A detailed understanding of the relevant Health & Safety Regulations, Environmental Management and employment legislation, manual handling and risk assessment.

Head Gardener – recommended band £36,644 to £50,432+

Role Profile:
Reports to: Owner, Gardens Manager, Gardens Advisor, Property Manager or similar.
Line management responsibility: 2 –10 employees supervised, plus volunteers and contractors where appropriate.
Budget responsibility: garden expenses excluding wages.

Knowledge, skills and experience:

  • NVQ Level 3 or equivalent, NCH, HND, OND, City & Guilds, Kew or Edinburgh Diploma in Horticulture, RHS level 2, RHS Level 3, MHort RHS.
  • A proven track record of high quality horticultural work.
  • People management and communication skills training with proven supervisory experience.
  • Thorough understanding of relevant Health and Safety legislation, formal training in manual handling and risk assessment, a valid driving licence.

Deputy Head Gardener/Sole Gardener – recommended band £31.049 to £39,430+

Role Profile:
Reports to: Head Gardener, Owner, Property Manager, Gardens Advisor or similar.
Line management responsibility: assistant or part-time gardeners, contractors and volunteers supervised in absence of Head Gardener or other line manager.
Budget responsibility: day-to-day expenses, petty cash purchases or similar.

Knowledge, skills and experience:

  • NVQ Level 3 or equivalent, RHS Level 1, 2 or 3, HND, OND, City & Guilds.
  • At least three years relevant experience in horticulture together with 1 year’s proven supervisory experience, together with comprehensive plant knowledge.
  • Clear understanding of the relevant Health and Safety legislation, formal training in manual handling and risk assessment, a valid driving licence.

Gardener (skilled) – recommended band £28,253 to £36,641+

Role Profile:
Reports to: Head Gardener, Deputy Head Gardener, Owner, Property Manager or similar.
Line management responsibility: basic guidance of trainees and volunteers under supervision of Head Gardener.
Budget responsibility: none.

Knowledge, skills and experience:

  • Practical experience and/or Entry Level Qualification in gardens and/or landscape management. NVQ level 1 or 2, RHS level 1 or 2.
  • Comprehensive plant knowledge, a keen interest in gardens and landscapes, familiarity with most gardening practices together with the use and maintenance of machinery eg. mowers and strimmers.
  • A willingness to work alongside and to support other staff and volunteers.
  • Well motivated with an eye for detail and a desire to achieve a high standards, ability to work on own initiative.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills, good organisational skills, a good understanding of Health and Safety issues, a valid driving licence.

Gardener – recommended band £23,400 to £29,655+

Role Profile:
Reports to: Head Gardener, Deputy Head Gardener, Owner, Property Manager or similar
Line management responsibility: none.
Budget responsibility: none.

Knowledge, skills and experience:

  • Basic knowledge of plants, gardening practices and use of garden machinery.
  • Appreciation of gardens, willingness to learn new skills.
  • Degree of self-motivation and organisational skills.
  • Good understanding of Health and Safety issues.

Junior gardener (age 17)/ trainee – recommended band £19,872 to £22,662+

Role Profile:
Reports to: Head Gardener, Deputy Head Gardener, Owner, Property Manager or similar.
Line management responsibility: none.
Budget responsibility: none.

Knowledge, skills and experience:

  • A willingness to learn by participating in training programme.
  • Ability to work to agreed standards; with direction, to work with a wide range of horticultural tools and equipment, in a safe manner.
  • Ability to grasp information and apply recently gained knowledge.
  • Keen interest in plants and horticulture, enthusiasm for working outdoors.

The above bands reflect minimum recommended basic salary payment with effect from 1st April 2024 and are based upon a 37.5 hour week. 

  • The benefit value of any accommodation provided has not been included and should be negotiated separately. Bonuses, overtime and subsistence payments have not been included in the salary bands and are therefore additional.
  • Regional pay variations have been taken into account within the bands. Higher cost areas of the country would expect to make salary awards at the upper levels of the appropriate band. Regional pay weighting in London Inner (0-6miles of Charing Cross) £4,700 pa, London Outer (7-16miles) £2,822 pa, London Fringe (17-22 miles) £838-£1,672 pa. Other UK regions are broadly similar in their pay levels. We would expect pay for over 18’s in London to always be above £26,262 (inner London) £25,080 (outer London) to ensure a living wage.
  • It is recommended that Junior Gardeners, Gardeners and Skilled Gardeners receive financial recognition within the salary bands of £695pa for successful completion of each relevant professional qualification e.g. NVQ levels 1 and 2.
  • Employees with other relevant vocational qualifications such as a First Aid, Chainsaw or Spraying certificates should be recognised with additional remuneration.
  • It should be noted that whilst these salary bands are recommended by the Professional Gardeners’ Guild, individual negotiations must be conducted between an employer and employee taking into account individual circumstances.

Self Employed recommended minimum rates

London rates – £27.5 to £47 per hour 

SE, including East Anglia – £26.50 to £38 per hour. 

Scotland, Wales and UK Regions – £24.50 to £38 per hour.


For information:

The Government’s National Living Wage (Apr.2024) is £11.44 per hour, which equates to £22,308 pa for those over the age of 21 working 37.5 hours per week, £8.60 for those aged 18-20 (£16.770 pa) and £6.40 (£12,480 pa)for those aged 16-17.

The independently calculated ‘Real Living Wage’ is £12 per hour (£13.15 in London) which equates to £23,400 pa for a 37.5 hour week (£25,643 pa in London) an increase of 10.1% on 2023 rates

www.livingwage.org.uk/

First published April 2014
Revised
April 2015, March 2016, March 2017, March 2018, March 2019, March 2020, March 2021, March 2022, March 2023 and March 2024.

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