Questions like are you paying a competitive wage and what is the value of the benefits you provide your staff are two of many addressed in BakerAg’s biennial remuneration survey underway this month.

BakerAg has been in the rural consultancy business for 35 years, and has been conducting remuneration surveys since 2002.

It’s a survey of employers in the red meat sector with a sample size of more than 750, covering individual positions across nine different designations, spanning across New Zealand and ranging from casual shepherd to general manager of large corporates. Not just salary and wage levels, but also the benefits and allowances being paid.

Chris Garland, senior consultant for the firm, says that the demand for the survey came from clients that could not get their hands on accurate industry data on remuneration levels.

“There’s a lot of pressure on employers to pay a competitive wage when recruiting new staff, and to be able to put objective figures in front of those staff at annual review time, to demonstrate that they are being fairly paid at an industry level”.

For its 2020 remuneration survey, BakerAg is looking to widen the net further and invites Country-Wide readers to participate by completing their survey (see below).

BakerAg charges $150 for survey participants to receive the results which will be available in June. This fee just covers the management, processing and reporting costs. Otherwise, for those who do not contribute, the results can be purchased for $350. Garland says farmers also have the option of just participating in the survey and not receiving the report if they wish.

This survey covers a wider range of positions than any other survey in the industry. It puts a value on accommodation, training, internet and phone (for personal use), KiwiSaver, electricity, vehicle use and other benefits, to arrive at a total remuneration package value for each position.

Results are broken down and reported on a regional level, as well as average, upper, middle and lower quartile salary levels, and benchmarked against the size of the property.

Designations (such as experienced shepherd) are accurately described through a summary job description, so that the right remuneration is reported to the right position.

As well as straight remuneration levels, the survey also reports on the payment of bonuses, education and training levels, if, when and how overtime is paid, how minimum wage requirements are being met, hours worked, most effective methods of recruitment, how accommodation is valued and how its taxed, staff turn-over health and safety, employment reviews and other factors that make up the working environment.

Using the web link at the end of this article will take you to the survey form on BakerAg’s website.

The information you need on-hand to complete the survey is property details (effective hectares and tally of stock classes carried over winter), employee details (job description, contract including remuneration, Kiwisaver contribution, hours worked, benefits and agreed values of the benefits).

The data is treated in strict confidence, and while the overall survey results are published, individual responses cannot be identified in the booklet.

Once you receive the completed report, you will know whether you are paying your staff fairly and how the employment conditions that you provide sit with the industry standard.

To participate in the survey, please go to or directly to