Life & work
You can work in Poland based on an employment contract or a civil-law contract. The first one is the most favourable form of employment, as regards both benefits you get from an employer and stability.
You can work in Poland based on an employment contract or a civil-law contract. The first one is the most favourable form of employment, as regards both benefits you get from an employer and stability. You should be offered a civil-law contract if your employer wants you to do a specific task, and not to work permanently. Agreements of this type are not subject to the provisions of the Labour Code. However, it does not mean that taking a job based on a civil-law contract, you are not obliged to obtain a work permit. It is a prerequisite for signing each type of agreement, both an employment contract and a civil-law contract.
Concluding an employment contract will entail your obligation to do a specific kind of work for your employer in the place and time set by your employer. On the other hand, the employer will be committed to employ you at a specified remuneration.
Employment agreements can be concluded for a probation period, for a replacement employee, for the period required to perform a specific task, for a specified period, or for an indefinite period. While signing an employment agreement, you should check if it contains the following elements: specified parties and the agreement type, the date of concluding it, and the conditions of work and remuneration; the latter being, i.a., the kind of work and the place of doing it, working hours and the amount of remuneration.
If you are employed based on an employment contract, you know that your employer pays your contributions to the social and health insurance, as well as tax advances.
If you have an employment contract, you are entitled to 20 or 26 days of annual leave, depending on the number of years you have worked so far and the level of education.
The full-time work in Poland means 40 working hours a week, and the daily working time should not exceed 8 hours. An employer is also required to guarantee you at least 11 hours of uninterrupted rest per each 24 hours.
Instead of an employment contract, your employer can offer you a civil-law agreement, namely, an agreement regulated by the provisions of the Civil Code. A commission contract and a specific task contract are the most widely used civil-law agreements.
The commission contract consists in commissioning you to do specific work in a specified period. The commission contract must set out the kind and scope of the activity done by you and your gross remuneration, from which public receivables will be deducted.
The specific task contract concerns accomplishing the so called “task”, which means an expressly specified activity, within a specified period at a specified price. Similarly to the commission contract, the consideration in the specific task contract is set out at its gross value.
Despite a different purpose of the civil-law contracts, many employers in Poland decide to hire employees under agreements of this type. Before you make a decision on such a form of collaboration, you should bear in mind the fundamental differences between the civil-law contracts and the employment agreement.
There is no minimum remuneration in case of the civil-law contracts. This means that the employer can offer you remuneration at any level. What is more, you have no right to the annual leave or sickness payment under a civil-law agreement.
NOTE: A person working exclusively under a specific task contract is not subject to the social insurance.
There are two most common working patterns in Poland: from 8 am to 4 pm, and the hours from 9 am to 5 pm, rising in popularity. Yet the global companies work according to different rules. The enterprises that contact companies and branches located on other continents on a daily basis usually work 24/7. This means that if you are in a large outsourcing centre, you can work both from 6 am to 2 pm and from 10 pm to 6 am. Because of the range of their business, those companies often work also at weekends and on holidays.
If you work 8 hours (at least 6 hours) a day, you are entitled to a 15-minute break within your working time, and you can do any activities during this break. Some employers decide to make the break longer or they do not check the time spent on a break so scrupulously. Some corporations grant their workers as much as 1 hour for the break, which you cannot give up, and which will oblige you to stay at work 1 hour longer. Yet it has its advantages. You can use this time to relax and recover your strength going out for lunch with your colleagues or working out in the gym.
In Poland, 13 holidays are celebrated during the whole calendar year. If it is a moveable feast and it falls on a non-working day, you have the right to receive a day off in exchange because you would not turn up at work on this holiday, anyway. Similarly, if you appear in the office on a day which is considered to be a non-working day in Poland, you are entitled to get a day off for this day spent at work.
The increasing number of international companies in Poland caused a deficit of employees speaking foreign languages fluently, which is reflected in changes in the level of salaries. As the Polish Nationwide Research of Remuneration by Sedlak & Sedlak 2013 shows, if you possess a very good knowledge of a foreign language, you can count on a salary higher by PLN 900 (EUR 225) on average than the pays of employees who do not speak any foreign language other than English. You can count on particularly high remuneration if you speak fluently such languages as: Swedish, Hungarian, Dutch and Czech.
If you consider taking up a job in Poland, you can approach potential employers by sending your CV directly to the company selected by you or via the Internet. It is possible to place your CV on www.CareersinPoland.com, and submit them to the recruitment agencies working in Poland, which on behalf of employers, constantly seek employees who speak foreign languages fluently. Such agencies include, among other companies, Goldman Recruitment and Randstad.
Many employers in Poland try to encourage young people to start their work during studies. While preparing job or traineeship offers for them, the companies often give young employees a possibility to adjust working hours to other everyday duties. You can combine your international exchange studies with gathering the first professional experiences at companies that look for native speakers.