Changes to minimum rates of pay this April

 In News Feed

A new memorandum of agreement has been reached between the National Trainers Federation and the National Association of Racing staff concerning minimum rates of pay for racing grooms.

Please note that the Government National Minimum Wage is taken into account and there are different minimum rates depending on age in Scales 1 – 3. Scale 4 upwards is not age related. These changes will be effective from Monday 12 April. 

Set out below are the minimum rates for a 40 hour week.



Pay Band

Minimum Rates for 40 hour basic week

Scale 1


For those with no experience or limited experience in horse racing.

It is unlikely that people in this role will have qualifications higher than NVQ1 or equivalent.

Age 16/17            –     £188.00 (£4.70 p/hr hour)

Age  18 to 20       –     £264.00 (£6.60 p/hr)

Age 21 to 22        –     £338.00 (£8.45 p/hr)

Age 23 and over  –    £360.00 (£9.00 p/hr)

Scale 2


People on this scale are likely to have some experience and have NVQ2 or equivalent skills.

Age 16/17             –    £220.00 (£5.50 p/hr)

Age  18 to 20        –    £264.00 (£6.60 p/hr)

Age 21 to 22         –    £338.00 (£8.45 p/hr)

Age 23 and over   –   £360.00 (£9.00 p/hr)

Scale 3

Rider/Groom/ Yard Person

Age  16 to 20        –    £264.00. (£6.60 p/hr)

Age 21 to 22         –    £338.00 (£8.45 p/hr)

Age 23 and over  –    £360.00 (£9.00 p/hr)

Scale 4

Senior Rider/Groom/

Yard Person

People on this scale may hold NVQ3 or equivalent. £360.00 upwards  – (£9.00 p/hr)

Scale 5

Skilled Rider/Specialist Yard Person

People on this scale may have previously held a professional jockey licence, are likely to have exceptional riding skills, to be capable of breaking and/or schooling young horses, capable of supervising equine swimming pool and similar facilities, have first aider and/or health and safety supervision duties. £360.00 upwards  – (£9.00 p/hr)
Scale 6

Supervisory staff/senior


This scale is likely to include head lad, travelling head lad or other supervisory/management roles £380.00 upwards  – (£9.50 p/hr)


It is likely that within any one yard, there would be progressive differentials in pay between staff members in Scales 4 to 6.

Note:   NVQ 3 is equivalent to Level 3 Diploma in Work Based racehorse care and management, NVQ2 is equivalent to Level 2 Diploma in Work Based racehorse care and management and NVQ1 is equivalent to Level 1 Diploma in Work Based Horse Care or Work Based racehorse care and riding.

The full Memorandum of Agreement is now up on the NTF website and you can access it here.

Please take time to read it, it covers;

  • Hours of work
  • Overtime
  • Payment for time worked away from the yard
  • Subsistence allowances
  • Sunday racing and payment
  • Overnight
  • Racing abroad
  • Returning after midnight
  • Holidays
  • Part-time work
  • Sickness & bereavement leave
  • Racing Industry Accident Benefit Scheme
  • PPE and clothing
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