Harvest Aid Agreement - template with discussion


From May 2018, the act on social insurance for farmers was given a new shape. The amendment added chapter 7a to the act, which regulates the principles of concluding the so-called Harvest Aid Agreements. This type of contract can prove to be a helpful tool for farmers who are involved in the cultivation of certain crops. Due to the short duration of the added provisions, it seems that the Harvest Aid Agreement will fully apply in the following seasons.

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The contract is concluded by the farmer and his assistant

The harvest aid contract is a new type of civil law contract. Importantly, help with harvesting is not a form of employment within the meaning of the Labor Code. The contract is concluded between a farmer who grows hops, fruit, vegetables, tobacco, herbs and herbal plants, as defined in the regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council.

The provision of art. 91a paragraph. 1 of the act on social insurance for farmers
"By the contract on aid for harvest, the farmer's assistant undertakes to provide aid for the harvest of agricultural products belonging to the sector referred to in Art. 1 clause 2 lit. f, i and n of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing a common organization of the markets in agricultural products and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 922/72, (EEC) No 234/79, (EC) No. 1037/2001 and (EC) No. 1234/2007 (Journal of Laws UE L 347 of 20.12.2013, p. 671, as amended. [4])), as well as other herbs and herbal plants , hereinafter referred to as "hops, fruit, vegetables, tobacco, herbs and herbal plants", at a specific place on the farm of the farmer and for a specified period of time, and the farmer to pay the agreed remuneration for the aid provided ".

It is worth remembering that only farmers who cultivate agricultural products specified in the regulations will be able to conclude an agreement on aid with harvest. A detailed list of possible products has been included in the regulation referred to in the provisions of the regulations. Farmers should pay particular attention to Part IX of Annex I to the Regulation, as this passage contains a detailed list of fruit and vegetables for which it is possible to conclude a harvest aid agreement.

Collecting, deleting, sorting

Each party to the contract undertakes to perform certain services within its provisions.

The farmer's responsibilities include:

  • payment of the remuneration agreed by the parties;

  • providing the helper with the tools necessary to properly provide help with the harvest;

  • reporting the assistant to KRUS within 7 days from the date of concluding the contract and paying the premium due (currently it is PLN 140.00 for health insurance and PLN 42.00 for accident insurance per month).

The duties of the farmer's assistant consist in providing help with harvesting in a specific place on the farm and for a specified period of time. This help should be provided personally, and therefore the helper cannot do it by other people.

Assistance with harvesting may be provided by one assistant for a maximum of 180 days per calendar year. Even where several contracts are concluded for different farmers, the total duration of the aid may not exceed this figure.

The parties to the contract may specify the remuneration due to the assistant in various ways - it may be, for example, the hourly rate, the daily rate or the remuneration for the entire period of providing help with harvesting.

The Act on Farmers' Social Insurance specifies exactly what harvest aid is. As defined in the regulations, it is:

  1. harvesting hops, fruit, vegetables, tobacco, herbs or herbal plants;
  2. removal of unnecessary plant parts;
  3. classifying or sorting the picked or harvested hops, fruit, vegetables, tobacco, herbs or herbal plants, or performing other activities aimed at preparing hops, fruit, vegetables, tobacco, herbs or herbal plants for transport, storage or sale, or related to the care and improving the quality of the crops.

Any other activities that go beyond the scope indicated above and that the helper is expected to perform for the farmer must be covered by another contract (e.g. a specific work contract).

Harvest Aid Agreement - in what form should it be concluded?

The provisions of the Act indicate in a framework way how the agreement on aid for harvesting should be structured and refer to the provisions of the Civil Code, which will apply in cases not regulated in the Act. The contract should be concluded before the assistant starts work.

The contract on help with harvesting should be concluded in writing. In a different form, it will also be important, but in the event of a court dispute, the parties must take into account evidentiary difficulties, as the possibility of invoking evidence from the hearing of the parties or witnesses for the conclusion of the contract will be significantly limited.

The contract on aid for harvest should fully define its parties, i.e. the farmer and the assistant, by indicating not only the names and addresses for correspondence, but also identification numbers. It should also include the place and date of its conclusion and the signatures of the parties to the contract. Its most important provisions will include passages about the obligations of the farmer's helper (by indicating which harvest he was employed in and in what place and when he is to help with the harvest) and about the farmer's obligations (mainly in terms of the amount of remuneration due to the farmer and the manner of his payouts).

As indicated above, the total time of providing assistance with harvesting by one person may not exceed 180 days in a calendar year. The legislator imposes an obligation on the assistant to submit a declaration regarding the number of days worked during the year before the conclusion of the contract. This declaration should constitute an appendix to the agreement on aid with harvest or be included in the content of the agreement.

A contract on aid for harvesting may also be concluded with a seasonal worker who is not a Polish citizen, but in this case the farmer must remember about the additional requirement of obtaining a work permit.

The act stipulates that either party may decide to terminate the contract by terminating it. Termination has the effect that the contract is terminated at the end of the day on which it was terminated, but the parties may agree otherwise in the contract. For example, the parties may assume that the declaration should be made one week in advance.