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There are many foreigners in the fields - Serbia Business

There are many foreigners in the fields

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There are currently 293 registered on the seasonal jobs portal, and there are also Indians, Kazakhs, citizens of Nepal…

More and more foreigners are working on fruit plantations in Serbia, especially those where raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are harvested, and sometimes vegetables, such as gherkins, peppers or tomatoes. They mostly come from the neighborhood, while especially in the south of the country, you can also see those from distant parts of the world, Kazakhstan, Nepal, India, and from this year, from Moldova. They are mostly employed by farmers, and many are not registered in the tax system. Foreign seasonal workers, on average, can earn up to thirty euros per day, picking and sorting fruits and vegetables, doing lighter jobs in agriculture. The owners of the plantations admit that they are often forced to hire them, because the local labor force goes further into the world with their stomachs for bread, and among the “locals” there are many who are not ready to do such demanding work, burning in the fields from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. days in the hottest period of the year.

According to the data of the portal of the Tax Administration, which is connected to the National Employment Service (NES) and the Central Register for Social Insurance, slightly less than 700 seasonal foreigners have been registered in Serbia. However, since the beginning of the electronic software for registering seasonal workers in agriculture, more precisely since January 1, 2019, a total of 67,502 seasonal workers have been registered. Officials note that not all farmers register their workforce through this portal, as private employment agencies can and do so, so the number of those hired in Serbia is certainly higher. The NES notes that this service issued 16,164 work permits to temporary workers in less than seven months of this year, but notes that it does not have data on the number of seasonal workers, considering that they did not have requests for the issuance of such work permits.

Currently, the largest number of people employed on the farms here are from Uzbekistan, India and Kazakhstan.

– There are many workers from Uzbekistan in the fields, 293 of them, and there are also Indians – 257, Kazakhs – 39 – according to NALED. They remind that according to the records of the Tax Administration portal, 23 seasonal workers arrived from Ukraine, five from Nepal, three from BiH, two workers each from North Macedonia and the Russian Federation, and one each from Montenegro and Kyrgyzstan. One also came from the USA, but there is no information from which country exactly.

Seasonal jobs can normally be performed on the basis of fixed-term employment contracts and contracts on temporary and occasional jobs, but special records of the employment of seasonal workers under these contracts are not kept. The advantages of introducing an e-system are numerous. Workers today have a secure compensation, pension, insurance in case of injury at work, legal security even though there is no written contract because the registration on the portal alone is sufficient proof (they can also ask for a written confirmation from the employer). The economy has lower administrative and financial costs, NALED notes, and the state got an organized system, better efficiency of control and collection, lower gray economy, higher employment and tax revenues, Politika writes.