No insurance back payments for Polish workers

26th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

26 April 2005, BERLIN - German fruit and vegetable farmers will not have to make back payments to Poland to cover social insurance contributions for Polish seasonal workers employed in Germany during 2004, the president of the German farmers union, Gerd Sonnleitner, said on Monday.

26 April 2005

BERLIN - German fruit and vegetable farmers will not have to make back payments to Poland to cover social insurance contributions for Polish seasonal workers employed in Germany during 2004, the president of the German farmers union, Gerd Sonnleitner, said on Monday.

Sonnleitner was citing the German social ministry which was currently trying to reach a similar solution for 2005, he said. The ministry did not officially comment on the statement by the German farmers union.

Since Poland joined the European Union in May 2004, Polish seasonal workers employed in Germany during the harvest period have been obliged to pay social insurance contributions.

However, German farmers have failed to pass the contributions for a large majority of the 280,000 seasonal Polish employees on to the Polish social insurance services.

Heinrich Tiemann, secretary of state in the German social ministry, visited Warsaw last Friday for talks on the issue. The ministry said it was trying to reach a "pragmatic solution".

Such a deal could lead to an exemption from back payments for at least 2004.

The German Farmers Union has warned the issue of outstanding social insurance payments could lead to an "explosion of costs".

The German government commented that the farmers union apparently failed to inform their members about their obligations to pay social insurance contributions for Polish workers.

DPA

Subject: German news

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