Here you will find answers for the most important questions, that come to foreigners’ mind while considering starting work in Poland. You will learn on what aspects you should put your attention, what documents you need and where to look for legal employment.
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Frequently asked questions
We remind you that in connection with the current epidemiological situation, amendments to the law came into force providing for, inter alia, special solutions for foreigners in Poland. The current regulations allow people who want to pursue their current purpose of stay or cannot leave Poland due to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus to stay legally in the country.
More information – Coronavirus outbreak – special solutions for foreigners
The most important document that permits staying in the territory of the Polish Republic is a passport. It has to be issued in the last 10 years and it should be valid for at least 3 months after the date of your planned departure from Poland. If the passport expires, all other legalization documents become invalid. Three documents are entitling you to stay in case you plan to come and work in Poland. Those are:
– biometric passport – it entitles you to stay in the Schengen area up to 90 days within 180 days. What’s important all stays are summing, regardless of what country you have been to. Also, keep in mind that stays under the type C visa and biometric passport add up.
– type D visa (national visa) – currently there are three kinds of type D visa:
- 05a – issued based on the declaration of entrusting the performance of work,
- 05b – issued based on the permission of seasonal work,
- 06 – issued based on documents other than a declaration of entrustment of work (e.g. work permit).
A visa is obtained at the Polish consulate based on an appropriate document legalizing work. Thanks to the visa, you can work as many days as it is indicated on it.
– uniform temporary residence and work permission (residence card) – if you are in Poland and you intend to continue your stay and work for more than three months, you can apply to the appropriate with a place of residence Voivodship Office for a uniform temporary residence permit and work.
As uniform temporary residence and work permit is issued for a specific employer, position, type of contract, as well as the rate and duration of full-time employment, remember that after finishing work with an employer for which it was registered, you are required through 15 working days to inform the Voivodship Office that you have finished work on this permission. When informing the Office on time, you have a guarantee that within 30 calendar days your permission will not be withdrawn and you can find a new job on this time.
Before deciding for hiring you, your potential employer needs to check are you staying in Poland legally. Nevertheless, the responsibility for your stay’s legalization is your duty. You need to mind the expiry dates of documents that legalize your stay. If you are under the process of issuing a uniform temporary residence and work permits, you must comply with the delivery of documents of which you have been requested by the Voivodship Office. You are also required to inform your employer about the status of ongoing proceedings in your case.
As we have mentioned already – you are the responsible one for legalizing your stay. Thus, if you stay on the territory of Poland illegally – you bear the consequences. Remember that even one day of illegal stay may result in your deportation.
Of course, if it is your employer’s omission and you haven’t been called to complement documents legalizing your stay on time or your employer didn’t terminate the contract with you when your documents have expired, during the inspection of authorized bodies, he can also be brought to responsibility.
The authorities that are entitled to verify the legality of your stay are:
Border Guard, the National Labor Inspectorate, Police.
Documents that are legalizing work in Poland are:
- statement on entrusting the performance of work – on its basis you can work a maximum of 6 months in the last 12 months,
- work permission – authorizes you to work for up to three years,
- seasonal work permission – you can work under it up to 9 in a calendar year,
- uniform temporary residence and work permission – issued for up to 3 years.
Each of those documents is issued for the particular employer, position, kind of agreement, working time dimension and remuneration.
An employer is obligated to claim for your legalization documents before the employment. Furthermore, his responsibilities are checking the validity of documents allowing you to work in Poland, as well as to report to the relevant office whether you have taken the position or not. If you have a declaration of entrustment to work, you can report to the office about the completion of the work yourself. Thanks to this, you do not lose days from the time of 6 months as you finished your work and you can use those days for work elsewhere.
Some employers do not hand on legalization documents to their employees – it should not be like this! You have the right to demand that them to be given to you and your employer cannot refuse you, especially since you have partial responsibility for the illegal performance of work.
Acquiring all legalization documents are free of charge for you. The employer is obligated to pay all charges for them, except for the so-called Residence Card. The fee for this card should be paid to the city hall. If your employer demands any money from you for proceeding the work legalization documents or handing them to you – he conducts against the law and should be punished.
For the illegal entrustment of work, your employer may be fined, and if the illegal employment id continued – he may be banned from employing foreigners. It is mostly his responsibility to employ you legally. Although remember that it is in part also your duty. You can also be fined or even deported. That is why you must require your employer to provide you with documents that legalize your work.
Inspection bodies which are authorized to verify legal aspects of your work are Border Guards and the National Labor Inspectorate. Remember that if you have any doubts about whether your employer is complying with the law or does not want to give you your documents, you can contact the above authorities. Illegal practices should be reported – you do it both in your interest and in the interest of all other people who work in your company.
Every person employed full-time in a particular company should have an employment contract. It contains information about who concludes a contract with whom, place of work, position, salary, full-time position and scope of duties. All matters which are not addressed in the contract are regulated by the Labor Code. A person employed under a contract of employment has the right to receive paid annual leave as well as sick leave. If either party wishes to terminate the contract, it will also be subject to a notice period depending on seniority. If you are employed under an employment contract, each overtime of your work is paid an additional 50% or 100%. In 2019, the minimum wage for a person employed under an employment contract is PLN 2,250 gross per month.
Commission contract is a civil law contract, which is usually concluded in situations when you want to commission specific services. It is characterized by quite a lot of freedom in organizing work and it has no definition of the hourly working time. The commission contract should indicate the subject of the order, the period it covers, and the amount of remuneration. In 2019, the minimum hourly rate is PLN 14.70 gross. Working based on a commission contract, you are not entitled to receive paid vacation, and each hour of your work is paid at the same rate.
The temporary work contract is signed with an employed person by the temporary work agency. A person employed on this kind of contract has the same right and benefits like a person on the “typical” contract of employment. The main difference is in the notice period as well as the fact that holiday leave is calculated in the amount of 2 days after working every 30 days.
Remember that the agency can direct you for a temporary job to a specific employer for no longer period than the maximum 18 months during 36 calendar months. It simply means that you cannot work for the same employer for more than 18 months within 3 years.
The agreement with foreigner should be prepared in the language he understands. That is why you should not agree to sign the contract that is prepared only in polish language and you are not able to understand all statements of the agreement.
If you don’t understand it – do not sign it!
The agreement should contain all information related to your work as a place, position, employment period and the amount of remuneration.
Different companies are stating various records in their agreement which are on the edge of the law, or incompatible with it. Those practices have been observed mostly regarding civil contracts. You can experience the situation that following from your contract you will be punished for its unjustified dissolution. If this kind of record exists there should be a note explaining what is understood by the term “unjustified”.
Sometimes the person ordering charges with a penalty for undertaking work directly in the company to which the contractor was directed. Such an agreement should include a provision for your compensation resulting from the non-compete clause.
There can be various notations in the civil agreements as far as both sides are agreeing with them.
Remember that by signing the agreement you are accepting its terms and regulations. If it contains points that you are not accepting fully or, what is worse, it is written only in polish language and you are not able to verify it completely – do not sign it!
You do not need to agree to work in a place where that kind of practices has a place. There are many aboveboard companies and work agencies in our labour market.
Everyone person based on an employment contract (in the case of a commission contract sickness insurance is voluntary) has the right to receive sick leave. This leave is issued by a doctor electronically (e-ZLA) and then goes to the employer’s PUE profile. So you don’t have to worry about delivering them to your employer. However, this does not release you from the obligation to inform about your absence!
You acquire the right of sick pay after 30 days of continuous sickness insurance (in the case of voluntary insurance, it is 90 days) until then you are in a waiting period. The amount of sick pay is 80 or 100% depending on the reason for your inability to work. It is based on the average monthly salary paid in the 12 months preceding the month in which you became unfit for work.
If you are employed through a temporary work agency, remember that you must provide its data to the doctor who issues you sick leave.
Working under an employment contract, you are entitled to 20 or 26 days of paid annual leave during the calendar year. The number of days off depends on your seniority: 20 days is for people who have worked less than 10 years, 26 days is for people with total seniority of 10 years and more. Various factors influence the fact that you can receive the right for 26 days of a vacation faster, including the level of education.
If you are employed by a temporary work agency (i.e. based on a temporary employment contract), you acquire the right of two days of leave for each month remaining at the disposal of the employer – user.
At request, leave is permitted up to 4 days during a calendar year. These are not additional vacation days but are included in the pool of the number of vacation days per year. Leave on request must be declared at the latest on the day of its commencement, before starting work.
In the case of temporary employees, the right to leave on demand is acquired after working for a given employer – user for at least six months.
There are several ways to part with your employer. Those are:
- agreement of the parties – termination of cooperation is possible overnight. Consent to this form of termination must be expressed by two parties;
- termination of the contract with a notice period – the notice period depends on the length of employment and is as follows:
- by 2 weeks with employment less than half a year,
- by 1 month for persons employed for at least half a year,
- by 3 months for persons employed for at least 3 years.
- termination of the contract without notice – in this way you can terminate the contract primarily due to the fault of one of the parties.
In the case of temporary employees, the notice period is:
- 3 days in the case of contracts concluded for a period of up to two weeks,
- 1 week, when the contract exceeds two weeks.
Before starting cooperation with you, your future employer should receive a document that will legalize your work. This document should be handed to you. You will also be directed for an initial medical examination at the cost of the employer. For signing the contract you should bring:
- document legalizing your stay (if it is a residence card, then you take it together with the decision),
- your bank account number,
- if you have worked before – a work certificate from your previous employer,
- Personal Identity Number
The salary on the employment contract you sign will be determined in the gross amount. This is the amount of your salary, including compulsory contributions and tax (to the Social Insurance Institution and the Tax Office). It is assumed that the amount of taxes in Poland is approx. 30% of the remuneration.
The net amount is the amount of remuneration that you earn on clean and receive in the form of a bank transfer or cash withdrawal.
PIT means a personal income tax. It is collected both from Polish tax residents and from persons who do not have a Polish tax residence. In this second case, the tax is collected only from revenues that were obtained in Poland.
You must settle the tax due in each tax year. For this purpose, the employee receives PIT-37 from the employer. This declaration should be settled by the date indicated by the tax office. You can settle both electronically and directly at the tax office to which you belong.
It is a tax identification number consisting of 10 digits. This number should be provided in documents that relate to tax liabilities, as well as those that are collected by customs and tax authorities. Natural persons who do not conduct business activity provide Personal Identification Number instead of the Tax identification number
PESEL is an abbreviation of “Universal Electronic System of Population Register”. It is used to collect basic information that allows recognition of the identity as well as the administrative and legal status of Polish citizens and foreigners who live in Poland. To facilitate the possibility of getting to a doctor, to deal with many matters in various offices, as well as to be able to settle accounts with a personal income tax you must have a Personal Identification Number.
If you have a temporary residence registration for more than three months or permanent residence, Personal Identification Number is issued automatically, otherwise, it is issued on request. The application form can be downloaded from the website of the Ministry of Digitization: https://obywatel.gov.pl/dokumenty-i-dane-osobowe/uTicketaj-numer-pesel-dla-cudzoziemcow.
If you do not have a residence registration, you can indicate the need by creating an e-PUAP account as a basis, i.e. No. 1 point 1 lit. C to the Regulation of the Minister of Digitization of 10.09.2018r. Pos. 1760 regarding a trusted profile and trusted signature. “