NSSO: occasional work in horticulture, agriculture and fruit growing in 2022.

Author: Anne Ghysels (Legal Expert)
Date:

Special rules apply to occasional workers in the agricultural and horticultural sector for calculating their NSSO contributions. These are not calculated on the basis of their real gross salary, but on the basis of a daily flat-rate amount.

The occasional workers in these different sectors are entitled a maximum number of days per calendar year that open the right to this beneficial system of social security contributions.

Since 2021, this system of occasional work has been extended to fruit growing.

In our infoflash of 12 February 2021, we already informed you of the changes to this system in 2021. What about 2022?

The legal text has not yet been published in the Belgian Official Gazette. So changes could therefore still be made.

Quotas

The number of days for which workers can take advantage of this beneficial system was doubled in 2020 and 2021.

In 2022, the quotas will also be increased:

  • The maximum number of days per calendar year in horticulture is 100 days (as in 2021, but 130 in 2020)
  • The maximum number of days per calendar year in agriculture is 60 days (as in 2020 and 2021)

The NSSO has also announced that the maximum number of days per calendar year for fruit growing will remain fixed at 100 days (as in 2021), with the exception of workers who fall under the JC for temporary employment, as far as the 35 last days of the 100 days are concerned. The legal texts must still be published in the Belgian Official Gazette.

180 days in the same company

A worker who has worked in the horticultural or agricultural sector in a capacity other than occasional worker during the preceding 180 days shall not be considered an occasional worker.

For the year 2021, the legislation was more lenient as the 180 days must be checked in order to verify that worker was working in the same company and not in the horticultural or agricultural sector.

This relaxation will continue to apply through 2022.

'The same company' is understood to mean all legal entities that are managed by the same administrators and/or managers or that belong to the same technical business unit.

For the calculation of the 180 days, no account is taken of employment within the company during this period if it took place in the context of a contract for a fixed-term or for clearly defined work of maximum 6 consecutive calendar weeks.

The 180-day rule does not apply if a worker's employment contract is terminated at the statutory retirement age and the worker subsequently wishes to be employed as an occasional worker in the same company.

Source: NSSO; Council of Ministers of 28 January 2022.

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