On May 9, 2018, the President signed a new law on harvesting work, which introduces a new type of civil law contract, as well as health and accident insurance for seasonal workers in Poland. The new type of civil law contract, or more precisely a contract for harvesting work, may be concluded for a period of no longer than 180 days during the calendar year. It can be one contract or several contracts with one farmer or several farmers, as long as the total total duration of all contracts does not exceed 180 days. The parties to the contract will be the person running the agricultural business and the person helping with the harvest. It is worth noting that only an adult can be a farm helper. The subject of the contract will be the performance of specific activities for remuneration. The Act on farmers' social insurance (Article 91a (2)) explicitly specifies what activities can be considered as assistance with harvesting. Each party has the right to terminate the contract with immediate effect, unless the parties agreed otherwise in the contract.
According to the new regulations, the farmer is obliged to pay insurance premiums for sickness, accident and maternity insurance. The farmer is obliged to register the helper with the social insurance office, within 7 days from the date of conclusion of the contract. The regulations on the minimum remuneration for work, i.e. those regarding the minimum hourly rate, do not apply to to harvest helpers. It is worth noting that a helper can be a Polish citizen or anyone residing in Poland on the basis of a valid work permit. The farmer will be required to compile information about the amount of income from such a contract on the PIT-8C form and send it to the taxpayer and the tax office by the end of February of the following tax year.
The new type of contract is aimed at formalizing the employment relationship between a farmer and his helper. It also serves to eliminate the need to conclude specific task contracts with farm helpers, which were were never designed to cover harvesting work, and to ensure that farm helpers are covered by social insurance. Another reason for the introduction of the new type of contractor is to minimize the number of unregistered workers in agriculture.return