18 Jan, 2024

Maximising benefits for full-time family farm workers

In the intricate landscape of family employment, a significant opportunity exists for sole traders in the agricultural sector. Specifically, for those with family members actively contributing to the farm by being employed full-time on the farm, extending a contract of employment can prove to be a strategic move.

80% of farmers do not know the difference in PRSI M and PRSI A classes. In many instances, family members working on the farm may not be covered under social insurance, potentially missing out on Class A PRSI’s advantages. By offering a formal employment contract, you not only bring them into the fold of Class A Social Insurance but also unlock a spectrum of benefits that far outweigh the associated costs.

Prescribed relatives, including parents, siblings, and children, can qualify for Class A Social Insurance when employed under a registered employment contract. This ensures their eligibility for state pensions, illness benefits, and maternity benefits and contributes to their long- term financial security.

The benefits of Class A Social Insurance extend beyond the individual employee to the overall health of your farming enterprise. By proactively addressing the social insurance needs of your full- time family farm workers, you create a supportive environment that fosters loyalty, dedication, and financial well-being.

Considerations for Sole Traders

For sole traders in agriculture, the decision to extend a formal employment contract is a strategic investment in both the welfare of family members and the farm’s overall success. Class A Social Insurance’s benefits, including a reliable state pension and comprehensive illness and maternity benefits, far outweigh the associated costs.

At ifac, we recognise the significance of this decision. We are here to guide and assist sole traders in navigating the complexities of payroll, ensuring compliance with the appropriate PRSI classes while maximising the benefits for family employees in the farming community.

In conclusion, consider the impact of offering formal contracts of employment to family members working full-time on the farm. The benefits of Class A Social Insurance not only secure the financial future of your family member but also contribute to the overall prosperity of your farming enterprise.

Class A Benefits

• Adoptive Benefit
• Carer’s Benefit
• Guardian’s Payment Contributory
• Health and Safety Benefit
• Illness Benefit
• Invalidity Pension
• Jobseeker’s Benefit
• Maternity Benefit
• Occupational Injuries Benefits
• Parent’s Benefit
• Partial Capacity Benefit
• Paternity Benefit
• State Pension Contributory
• Treatment Benefit
• Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving
• Civil Partner’s Contributory
• Pension

This article was first published in our 2024 Irish Farm Report.