Trade union information booklet for seasonal foreign workers in Germany
In August 2003, the German Trade Union for Building, Forestry, Agriculture and the Environment (IG BAU) and a Polish trade union representing employees in agriculture (ZZPR) collaborated on a bilingual information booklet for Polish seasonal workers in Germany. While it was designed for all seasonal workers, the booklet was disseminated to workers in the agricultural sector who constitute the majority of seasonal employees. The booklet contained information on a wide range of issues, including: employment contracts; employers' legal obligations concerning health insurance; the national social benefit system; legal entitlements to paid leave; regulations on pay and taxes; limitation periods concerning pay claims; the legal provisions for terminating a contract; and the legal minimum standards to be observed concerning worker accommodation. The booklet also advised workers on seeking trade union support in legal disputes with employers, and provided the contact details of regional trade union offices. In 2002, the German Central Employment Agency registered about 300,000 seasonal employment contracts, of which 275,000 were in agriculture and forestry. Some 244,000 seasonal employment contracts in agriculture were concluded with workers from Poland. Many of Germany's agreements on seasonal work have become obsolete following the 2004 and 2007 enlargements of the European Union.