FARMERS in the Guadalhorce Valley (Malaga) fear fines after a number of recent work inspections.
The Coordinator of Farming Organizations (COAG) reports that farmers in the area are worried and confused about recent legal changes in the sector and have been subjected to work inspections in the past five months, especially in Alhaurin el Grande and Coin.
The inspections reportedly began in November during the chestnut harvest when many people who were receiving unemployment benefits were working on their own farms.
Farmers are unsure whether they need to register as self-employed to work on their own farms, and Social Security inspectors are normally accompanied by agents from the Guardia Civil Nature Protection Service, SEPRONA, which has only alarmed farmers even more.
To clear up the confusion, COAG has met with the head of the Social Security Work Inspection Unit, Enrique Nogueira.
It has been determined that farmers who are not registered as self-employed who are found working before 12pm can be fined €3,000, although if they do not sell their produce, or receive less than the minimum salary for what they sell, they will not have to register.
This also applies to pensioners.