Labor law

Employment regulations in Poland

Employment-related issues are regulated by the Act of June 26, 1974, the Labor Code. The act regulates the rights and obligations of employees and employers. The Labor Code defines the conditions under which work may be performed in Poland. The provisions of employment contracts and other acts on the basis of which an employment relationship is established may not be less favorable to the employee than the provisions of the labor law.

The Civil Service Act also applies to employees of local government administration.

Requirements for the form of employment contracts in Poland

The employment contract is concluded in writing. However, it is not obligatory. If the employment contract has not been concluded in writing, the employer, before allowing the employee to work, confirms to the employee in writing the arrangements regarding the parties to the contract, the type of contract and its terms.

Requirements for employment contracts are specified in the Labor Code.

Rules for terminating the employment relationship in Poland

Dismissal from work in Poland

In Poland, the termination of an employment contract depends on the type of contract. If the parties have concluded a fixed-term contract, then it is sufficient to submit a notice of termination of the contract while respecting the notice period specified in the Labor Code.

On the other hand, if the parties have concluded an employment contract for an indefinite period, the employer must indicate the reason for the justification, which must be a real and specific reason.

Certain groups of employees enjoy special protection against dismissal. Protection covers mainly pregnant women and people in the pre-retirement age, ie. those who are not more than 4 years until they reach retirement age. The employer cannot terminate the employment contract during the employee’s vacation, as well as during other justified absence of the employee from work.

Termination of employment with immediate effect in Poland

The employer may also terminate the contract with the employee without notice, due to the employee’s fault. It is possible, first of all, if the employee has violated basic employee duties in a serious manner, but also if the employee commits a crime during the term of the employment contract, which prevents him from further employment in the position held, and if the employee loses the rights necessary to perform work in the position held.

Termination of an employment contract without notice due to the fault of the employee may not take place after 1 month from the moment the employer receives information about the circumstances justifying the termination of the contract.

Compensation for unjustified termination of employment in Poland

In the event of termination of an employment contract without just cause, the employee may be reinstated or be entitled to compensation.

Compensation is due in the amount of the remuneration for the notice period. In the event of termination of an employment contract concluded for a definite period, compensation is due in the amount of remuneration for the period until which the contract was to last, but not more than for the period of notice.

Work and / or stay permits in Poland

Citizens of the EU / EEA Member States and Switzerland may work in Poland without the need to obtain a residence permit, on the basis of a valid travel document, if the stay lasts up to 3 months. If the stay is longer, the employee must register his stay. Registration is free. To register your stay, you must meet one of the following conditions: be employed or self-employed; or be a spouse of a Polish citizen; or have sufficient financial resources and health insurance; or study or undergo vocational training in Poland.

As a rule, third-country nationals, in order to work in Poland, must obtain an appropriate work permit. The employer requests it. If a foreigner does not have a legal stay in Poland (e.g. within the limit of 90 days in a 180-day period under the visa-free regime) – he must legalize his / her stay in Poland by obtaining a visa or a temporary residence permit related to work. You can also apply for a uniform temporary residence and work permit.

  • The cost of a work permit – PLN 100
  • The cost of a temporary residence permit – PLN 390
  • The cost of a temporary residence and work permit – PLN 490

For citizens of some countries (Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Moldova) it is possible to perform work on the basis of a declaration registered by the employer if the work lasts up to 24 months. The work cannot be seasonal and may not be related to running the company. The cost of the registration of this declaration is 30 PLN. Then a work permit is not necessary, but the foreigner must ensure legal stay in the territory of Poland.

It is also possible to obtain a residence permit for reasons other than employment.

Support mechanisms for Ukrainian citizens

Due to the ongoing armed conflict on the territory of Ukraine, citizens of this country may work in Poland upon notification to their employer. Notifications are made electronically within 14 days from the date of commencement of work. The notification is free of charge. Work on the basis of notification is possible for:

1) Ukrainian citizens legally residing in Poland,

2) Ukrainian citizens who came to Poland legally after February 24, 2022 in connection with the war in Ukraine and declares their intention to stay in Poland,

3) spouses of the persons indicated in point 2 above.

In the case of Ukrainian citizens who came to Poland legally after February 24, 2022 in connection with the war in Ukraine and declares their intention to stay in Poland – their stay in Poland is considered legal for 18 months from February 24, 2022.