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updated: 13 Dec 2019 in First steps

Working in Poland

Careers in Poland
Careers in Poland
If you are planning on starting or developing your professional career in Poland, you should try looking for a job before moving. Securing a job position will help you obtain a visa or a residence permit as it provides a compelling reason for your stay in Poland. Learn more about different types of contract you can receive from your future employer.
Working in Poland

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TYPES OF CONTRACT

1. Contract of employment (umowa o pracę)

For the majority of Polish employees, a contract of employment (umowa o pracę) is the preferred type of job contract. It denotes an employment relationship in which the employee receives remuneration from their employer in return for performing work in a set time and place. Contracts of employment are regulated by the Labour Code and should be both drawn up and terminated according to its provisions.

There are a few types of employment contracts, the most common of which are:

indefinite employment contract

fixed-term employment contract

probation period contract

Regardless of its type, a contract of employment should always be concluded in writing. Most employees favour this form of employment as it provides for a number of benefits. Under a contract of employment, you are covered by the social security scheme and entitled to sick leave and paid annual leave (20 or 26 days a year). Most importantly, an indefinite employment contract cannot be terminated without notice, except in limited circumstances such as gross misconduct on the part of the employee.

2. Contract of mandate (umowa zlecenie)

A contract of mandate (umowa zlecenie) is a civil law agreement in which the contractor (or an employee) undertakes to perform specific work or tasks commissioned by the ordering party (the employer). This type of agreement is not regulated by the Labour Code and allows for more flexibility when it comes to working time or the manner in which the work is performed. However, it also means that the employer is not required to grant paid time off or sick leave (sick pay can be covered by the employer at the employee’s request). A contract of mandate can be delegated to a subcontractor and terminated with immediate effect. In 2019, the minimum hourly wage under a contract of mandate amounts to PLN 14.70 (gross).

3. Specific-task contract (umowa o dzieło)

A specific-task contract (umowa o dzieło) is a different type of a civil law agreement, regulated by the Civil Code. This kind of contract is often used for commissioning freelance workers, as it focuses on the end result of a given task – be it a newly designed website, a translation or a book. The contractor receives remuneration upon completion of the task, but there is no minimum wage requirement – your pay depends greatly on the type of work you are doing. This kind of work can also be delegated if necessary. Remember that working under a specific-task contract does not entitle you to social security benefits.

PERMISSION TO WORK IN POLAND

Once you have been offered a job position in Poland, you can finally start preparing for the big move. First, it is important that you determine whether you will need a work permit to take up employment in Poland. Naturally, not all foreigners are required to obtain the permit – for example, if you are a citizen of the European Union or an EFTA member state (Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Switzerland), you can skip this part of our guide. If, however, you do need to obtain a work permit, note that there are six different types of the document:

• Type A – applies to foreigners who are employed on the basis of an employment contract or a civil law contract by an entity with a registered office in Poland

• Type B – foreigners who perform a board member function and reside in Poland for a total period exceeding 6 months within a period of 12 subsequent months

• Type C – foreigners delegated to Poland for a period exceeding 30 days in a calendar year to perform work for a foreign employer’s branch or subsidiary

• Type D – foreigners delegated to Poland to engage in export services (temporarily) for a foreign employer that does not have a branch or a business activity in Poland

• Type E – foreigners who perform work that does not fall into any of the above categories

• Type S – foreigners who perform seasonal work in Poland (for a period not exceeding 9 months in a calendar year)

Work permits are issued by the relevant voivodeship office or starost office (type “S” permits) and applied for by the employer. Sometimes the application process may require a labour market test – a procedure which proves that there are no suitable candidates for the position on the Polish or the EU market.

DECLARATION OF INTENT TO EMPLOY A FOREIGNER

In some cases it is possible to employ a third-country national without a work permit. Citizens from Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Armenia, Georgia and Moldova do not need to possess the document to take up work in Poland for a period not exceeding 6 months within 12 subsequent months. Such workers can be employed on the basis of their employer’s declaration of intent to employ a foreigner. However, the work cannot be performed in sectors such as agriculture, horticulture or tourism as it falls into the seasonal work category.

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