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Federal Ministry of Labour of Germany is negotiating the employment of Ukrainians in agriculture

The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany is negotiating the employment of Ukrainian citizens for seasonal work in the German agricultural industry.

The Ministry of Labor of the Federal Republic of Germany has noted that today there are no legal grounds for the employment of Ukrainian seasonal workers in agriculture in Germany, Ukrinform reports.

"The Ministry is conducting preliminary negotiations with Ukraine regarding employment for seasonal work in agriculture. To date, seasonal employment of Ukrainians is possible only as part of a vacation or internship for students," the department said in response to the agency's request.

There were 11,838 such "vacation workers" in 2018 (of which 7,053 in the agro-industry), in 2019 there were 19,180 employees (9,594 in the agro-industry), in the first 9 months of 2020—18,301 people ( including 10,285 in the agro-industry).

The Ministry believes that it is impossible to predict the situation this year, given the pandemic. The visa-free format is not working today due to antiviral restrictions.

Nevertheless, employment of seasonal workers in the agro-industry is possible, but only within the framework of intermediary agreements. This year the Federal Republic of Germany signed a pilot agreement on the employment of seasonal workers in the agro-industry with Georgia, the workers from Ukraine will be next.

The agreement provides, in comparison with the general right of workers to enter Germany, significantly simplified entry regulations, provided that the duration of work does not exceed 90 days in a period of 180 days.

In addition to the contract, a work permit is required from the state employment administration of Germany and the Federal Employment Agency (BA) for certain categories of workers.

In doing so, the BA checks the conditions of employment, such as wages that should not be lower than those of local workers. The permit is issued quickly, a visa is not required. Under the contract, a fixed number of seasonal workers will be able to work.

Context. Germany is in great need of seasonal workers in the agro-industry. The corresponding jobs in the near future will not be covered by labor supply from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. However, to date, seasonal workers from third countries still constitute a small group of the total.

Last year, Germany allowed 80,000 seasonal workers from Central Europe to come to the country in April—May to save the spring harvest. They were mainly citizens of Poland and Romania. The average need for helpers in the German agricultural sector is estimated at 300,000 people.

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