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How Boundless Employs Your Workers in Poland

To employ your workers in a compliant way locally in Poland, Boundless holds a temporary agency licence. According to Polish employment law, that is necessary because a company cannot hire people on behalf of another company unless it has the legal framework to do so, which comes with the license.

It's important to understand that while we have a temporary agency license, we do not source talent. Instead, we take legal responsibility for the workers, calculating and paying social security and health insurance contributions, running their payroll, filing taxes, etc. 

The mechanics involve a three-party arrangement between the worker, the temp agency and the business benefiting from the work performed, referred to as user employer. That arrangement comes with two separate agreements - an employment one between the worker and the temp agency and a customer one between the temp agency and the business.

Working through a licensed temp agency for a company is possible for 18 consecutive months only. In that time, the employee has access to full statutory employment rights, including paid time off and other forms of paid leave, access to unemployment benefits, and a host of protections. 

What Boundless does for you

As the temporary agency license holder, we establish and maintain the legal employment relationship with the worker. That starts by signing a fixed-term employment agreement with them which is for a maximum of 18 months. 

We ensure that the employee has a valid occupational medical certificate confirming their ability to perform work in a given position. In case they do not, we set it up for them.

Every month we calculate the payroll, deduct all mandatory contributions, provide the worker with a payslip and notify authorities about the payroll. 

We file all necessary taxes and pay mandatory contributions to respective authorities.

What you do

You sign our standard commercial agreement that we use for most of the countries we are in, which you can end with one month's notice. In addition, you also sign a customer agreement for each employee you hire through us. The appendix of this agreement includes detailed employee information.

What the employee does

The employee signs an employment contract with Boundless before starting the employment. In that agreement, it's explicitly stated that they will be performing work for the user employer. The employment agreement needs to be signed using a Qualified Electronic Signature (which constitutes a wet-ink signature) before the start date.

The employee will need to do a medical examination if the job they are going to do for you is very different from what they have been doing previously. However, if it is similar and the employee has had a medical examination in the past four years, it can be accepted. 

If an employee wants to end their employment before the 18 months expire, they will need to send us the resignation letter, stating their resignation and last working day. 

General Guidelines

There are four ways of ending employment:

  1. With the agreement of both parties
  2. A declaration by either the employer or the employee, observing the appropriate notice period
  3. A declaration by either the employer or the employee, without following the proper notice period
  4. After the expiry of the contract term (for probationary or fixed-term contracts)

The declaration from either the employer or the employee needs to be in writing.

If a statement is coming from the employer, regardless if it's with or without notice, it must include information on the employee's right to appeal to the Labour Court. In addition, a statement without notice or one with a notice on an indefinite period contract must include written justification.

Once employment ends, the employer must issue a Certificate of Employment to the employee and deregister them from the Social Security Authority (ZUS). The final payment is due in the next pay cycle, as usual.

Employees who believe that they have been dismissed unfairly or unlawfully can appeal to the Labour Court within 21 days. They can request to be reinstated at work (while being compensated for the time not spent working, up to 3 months' pay) or awarded compensation of up to 3 months' pay. These claims are available to employees when their employment is ended with or without notice by their employer.

With the agreement of the parties

If the employer and employee both agree to end the employment, there are no limitations in terms of who can initiate it, the timing and the type of contract that's being ended.

If an employer is initiating the end of employment, they may have to pay the employee severance pay, especially if they bear no responsibility.

The employer has to pay severance if:

Termination with notice

Employment ends with a notice when either the employer or employee notifies the other party that they intend to end the working relationship ahead of time.

If an employee wants to resign from employment, they may do so at any time as long as they give notice. They do not need any justification.

An employer can end a contract only if they meet the conditions set out in the Labour Code. Those include providing specific, genuine reasons for the indefinite period employment contract ending. Compensating the employee in lieu of notice is not permitted.

Termination without notice

The employer can end an employment contract without notice, regardless of whether the employee is at fault or not.

The employer can immediately terminate an employee at fault for the following reasons:

Employers have one month to end an employment contract without notice where the reason was the employee’s fault, and they found about it.

When deciding to end employment, the employer should consult with a company trade union representing the employee.

The employer can immediately end an employee's contract if they are unable to work due to:

The employee can terminate the employment without notice for the following reasons:

Disciplinary procedure

Termination of an indefinite period contract with notice must state the valid reasons for ending it and is subject to trade union control (if the employee is covered by trade union protection). The reasons for termination must be real and not of a general nature, so the employee can easily understand the grounds for their dismissal.

The Labour Code does not have a catalogue of events that lists justifiable reasons for employee dismissal. However, a Supreme Court ruling outlines some possibilities:

That said, there are basic requirements that every employer must follow to dismiss someone legally and limit the risk of questioning from the Labour Court, such as:

The employee can challenge the investigation's outcome within seven days of receiving the verdict by writing a letter. If the employer still does not amend their decision, the employee has a right to turn to the Labour Court, which they should do within 14 days of receiving the company's final decision.

Unfair Dismissal in Poland

Employee termination protection

Under Polish law, selected employee categories are protected against employment termination with notice, such as:

Resignation Procedure

Employees who would like to resign must present the employer with a written, dated statement confirming their intention to leave. Employees must respect the appropriate notice period in the employment contract. The notice becomes effective on the last day of the month, regardless of the day, the employee expresses their wish to resign.

Redundancy Pay & Entitlement in Poland

Redundancy rules and regulations apply to companies that employ over twenty employees. Redundancy is viewed as the end of employment by the employer for reasons not attributable to employees, such as reorganisation, restructuring, and closing a particular position. In those cases, employees are entitled to severance pay regardless of whether the redundancy is collective or individual. Employees in companies with less than 20 people are not entitled to severance.

Redundancies are collective if during 30 days they impact:

These limits include employees whose employment contracts are terminated by mutual agreement at the employer's initiative if that applies to at least five employees.

An employer making collective redundancies should prove that they applied objective, fair criteria in selecting the employees for dismissal and considered all employees affected by the reasons for redundancy.

The employer must consult with the company trade unions operating in the employer's company about the intention of collective redundancies, and when there is no trade union - with employee representatives.

Employees dismissed due to group dismissal are entitled to a severance payment of:

Employers should also pay severance to employees dismissed individually if the reasons are solely attributable to the employer, and they are employing at least 20 people. Examples include the employer's unfavourable financial situation, liquidation of specific jobs, declaration of bankruptcy or liquidation of the employer. The severance pay cannot be more than 15 times the minimum wage (39,000zł in 2020).

Other End of Employment Guideliness

Notice period

The notice period's length depends on the type of contract and employment period with a given employer. During the notice period, the employee receives a regular salary.

Trial period contract
Fixed and permanent employment contracts

The employer may ask the employee not to work during their notice, however, they must continue to pay them.

When the employer is ending the employment, within a notice period of at least two weeks, the employee is entitled to time off to seek other employment. The employer should still pay their salary.

During the notice period, the employer may also require the employee to take their statutory leave. If the employee does not use it, the employer should pay out the equivalent.

Termination is effective at the end of a calendar month if the notice period is specified in months or on a Saturday if specified in weeks.

Severance

Employees are entitled to severance pay according to their length of service:

Companies have to pay severance if employing more than 20 people, and they initiate the termination.

Unemployment funds

Employees who have worked at least 365 days in the last 18 months are entitled to an unemployment allowance for 6 or 12 months if terminated.

The unemployment allowance will be paid for 12 months if the individual fulfils one of the following conditions:

If the individual does not fulfil one of the conditions mentioned above, they will receive the benefit for six months.

Unemployment pay rate

As of June 1 2020, the gross amount rates are as follows

WORK EXPERIENCEFIRST 3 MONTHS OF BENEFIT (PER MONTH)AFTER 3 MONTHS OF BENEFIT (PER MONTH)
Up to 5 years960zł753.90zł
From 5 to 20 years1,200zł943.20zł
Over 20 years1,440zł1,221.40zł

The health insurance contribution and advance payment for income tax are subtracted from these amounts.

To apply for the allowance, the employee needs to register in the Labour Office near them. The employee cannot receive any employment, internship or training offer for the first seven days after registering to be granted the allowance.

Employees with a long work history near retirement age may qualify for a pre-retirement benefit if dismissed from work. They can only apply for this benefit six months after receiving an unemployment allowance. Starting from March 1, 2021, the gross monthly allowance is 1,260.99zł, which will be in place until February 28, 2022.

An employee can get access to a pre-retirement benefit until they reach the legal retirement age. It cannot be granted alongside other benefits, such as a survivor's pension.

Holiday Entitlement in Poland

All employees have the right of an annual unbroken paid vacation, and employers must enforce that it's taken. Just starting their work experience, an employee attains the right to paid time off, entitled to 1/12 of their whole vacation for every month they work.

The general assumption about paid leave is that employees will take it all at once. However, employees can request a split as long as at least one period is 14 days unbroken.

Vacation entitlement is as follows:

Part-time employee's holiday entitlement is calculated in proportion to their working hours, always rounded up to a full day.

The working period that determines vacation entitlement also includes time spent in education, depending on its type. Having a higher education degree, for instance, has an equivalent of eight working years.

Unused vacation days are transferred to the following year and must be taken by September 30 of the following year. It is forbidden to pay employees for not taking their leave, except if their employment is ending.

Bank holiday

There are 13 paid public holidays per year that every employee is entitled to. If the holiday falls on a Sunday, such as Easter Sunday and Whit Sunday (Pentecost), which is an official rest day in Poland, there is no extra pay. The only exception is made for employees who have been scheduled to work on these days, in which case they receive a paid day off. Holidays that fall on a weekend day are not moved to the next working day.

However, employees may take an extra day off if the holiday falls on their day off according to their work schedule for an average five-day workweek. If the holiday falls on Sunday, the employee doesn't get extra work for this holiday.

Employees are entitled to a day off in lieu of working on a public holiday, regardless of the number of hours worked. If their employer does not provide them a day off, the employee is entitled to an additional payment of 100% for each work hour.

Poland 2022 Holiday Calendar

DATEWEEK DAYHOLIDAY
1/1/2022SaturdayNew Year's Day
6/1/2022ThursdayEpiphany
17/4/2022SundayEaster Sunday
18/4/2022MondayEaster Monday
1/5/2022SundayLabour Day
3/5/2022TuesdayConstitution Day
5/6/2022SundayWhitsun/Pentecost
16/6/2022ThursdayCorpus Christi
15/8/2022MondaySt. Mary’s Ascension Day
1/11/2022TuesdayAll Saints Day
11/11/2022FridayIndependence Day
25/12/2022SundayChristmas Day
26/12/2022MondayBoxing Day

Types of Leave in Poland

Sick leave

Employers are responsible for paying employees on sick leave 80% of their salary for the first 33 days of illness in a calendar year, regardless of breaks. The amount increases to 100% if the employee becomes ill during pregnancy or were in an accident going to or returning from work. The difference, in this case, is covered by the Social Security Institute.

After the first 33 days, the Social Security Institute covers the leave, generally at 80% of the base pay for a maximum of 182 consecutive days per year (inclusive of the 33 days paid by the employer).

For employees aged 50+, the company must only cover the first 14 days of sick leave. The rest is covered by Social Security.

Maternity leave

Female employees are entitled to the following maternity leave periods after childbirth or adoption of a child seven years old or younger:

The Social Security Institute covers maternity pay at 100% of the employee's salary.

Maternity leave cannot start earlier than six weeks before the expected childbirth date and must continue immediately after childbirth. If the employee did not use the maternity leave before giving birth, her maternity leave starts when the child is born.

Employees should take a minimum of 14 weeks of maternity leave after childbirth before returning to work. They can transfer any untaken leave beyond 14 weeks to the child's father.

The adoption leave may be used by both the adoptive father and the adoptive mother. However, under the Labour Code, it's not possible for the leave to be taken simultaneously by both parents on the terms of maternity leave.

Breastfeeding Break

A breastfeeding employee working more than six hours a day is entitled to two half-hour breaks per day. If she is breastfeeding more than one child, she is entitled to two 45-minute intervals. However, if breastfeeding employees work between four and six hours, she is entitled to one break per day.

Paternity leave

Employees are entitled to two weeks of paid paternity leave within the first 24 months after the child's birth (or from the date of adoption, before the child turns 7). The leave can be taken in a maximum of two instalments, each not shorter than one week. Social Security pays the leave at a rate of 100% of the employee's salary.

If a female employee wants to return to work early (after completing the 14 weeks of mandatory maternity leave), the child's father can use the maternity leave's remaining balance.

Parental leave

Parents are entitled to a maximum of 32 weeks (34 weeks for multiple births) of paid parental leave, which can start once maternity leave has been fully used. Parental leave may be used:

Parental leave is also granted to adoptive parents (after exhausting the maternity leave), up to:

For the first six weeks, the leave is 100% of the employee's salary (eight weeks in case of multiple children and three weeks if adopting an older child). The remaining time is paid at 60%. Social Security covers the leave.

If the employee submits a written request for parental leave no later than 21 days after delivery, the pay is 80% of the employee's salary for the whole period, paid by Social Security.

Employees can take parental leave as one continuous period or several periods (not more than four). Each period should not be shorter than eight weeks. They can use up parental leave until the end of the calendar year in which the child turns six.

Employees can return to work part-time (no more than half time) during their parental leave if they give at least 21 days' notice. Employers have the right to reject an employee's request for part-time work for operational reasons.

Disabled child

Parents of disabled children (with a significant degree of disability or a disability certificate and who require permanent or long-term care) can take up to 30 days' leave per year in case of their child's illness. They can further request flexible work arrangements (telework, work intermittent hours, work flexible hours, or work an individual work schedule).

Childcare leave

An employee raising at least one child aged up to 14 years is entitled to two paid days off a year, covered in full by the employer.

Additionally, employees who have worked for at least six months are entitled to a further three years unpaid childcare leave until the child is five years old (18 years old if the child is disabled).

During a childcare leave, an employee can work for the current employer or another one. As is the case with parental leave, the employee may request to reduce their working hours to no less than half of their full-time hours during the leave period, which the employer should grant them. Further to that, an employee taking a childcare leave can also receive education or training if they can combine it with taking care of the child.

After finishing the childcare leave, the employee is entitled to reemployment in the former or an equivalent position.

Special event leave

Employees are entitled to two days off for close family member life events, such as a wedding, a child's birth, or a funeral. The entitlement is one day in cases of a child's marriage or the death of a sibling or in-law family members. Employees have the right to full remuneration during their leave.

An employee must also be given leave in cases outlined in specific regulations. Examples include court or public authorities appearances, or compulsory medical examinations or blood donation.

Study leave

The leave varies in length and is granted to employees who are either in employer initiated education or have received permission for it:

Employees are paid during their study leave.

Unpaid leave

Employees are entitled to unpaid leave that can be used for any purpose, including working for another employer.

The employee must request such leave, but the employer has the right not to grant it.

If the unpaid leave exceeds three months, the parties may allow for a provision that interrupts it if the employee needs to come back to work for important reasons.

General Employee Pay Regulations in Poland

Minimum wage 

2,800zł monthly (around €625).

Frequency

Most companies pay employees on a monthly basis, but it is also legal to pay employees daily or weekly.

Payday

Usually at the last working day of each month, and no later than the 10th of the following month.

General

Standard hours

Working hours are usually from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM or 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, often with up to one hour of an unpaid break for lunch.

On average, employees are expected to work 40 hours per week (8 hours a day - 5 days a week).

Maximum Working Hours & Overtime Laws in Poland

Working time cannot exceed 8 hours in 24 hours. The average 5-day work week should equal 40 hours in a reference period of four months or less.

Opt-out option

Opting out of the maximum 8 hours per day is possible at the employee's written request or by introducing a relevant working time system. If an employee requests the working time extension, it should be negotiated on a per-employee basis and reflected in the employment contract. Extending the maximum working hours, even if permissible, must not violate other labour law provisions such as the right to daily and weekly rest, which we describe below.

Overtime compensation

Overtime cannot exceed 150 hours in a calendar year. However, a collective bargaining agreement, employer work regulations or the employment contract may stipulate differently, but no more than 48 hours a week on average as is the current EU legislation.

An employee is entitled to the following additional supplements:

The employer may also grant the employee time off in exchange for overtime work instead of pay. If done without the employee's request, each overtime hour equals 1,5 hours paid time off. If, however, the employee requested it, each hour of overtime equals one hour of paid time off.

Break rights

Employees working more than 6 hours get a 15-minute paid break that counts as part of their work time. An employer can introduce a further break that is not counted towards the working time, which can be used for lunch or to handle personal matters. It cannot be longer than 60 minutes.

Employees are granted a minimum of 11 hours undisturbed rest every 24 hours (minimum uninterrupted daily rest) and at least 35 rest hours each week (minimum uninterrupted weekly rest).

Sunday work

Sundays and public holidays are workfree days. There are a few exceptions that permit work on Sundays or public holidays:

Employees working on Sundays or public holidays are entitled to another day off in lieu or additional remuneration. The employee is also entitled to days off as per the average of five days working week rule. In this case, their normal day off will be Saturday.

Night workers

Work done between 21:00 - 07:00 is considered night work. A night worker is someone who works at least three hours in that timeframe in any 24 hours.

Any employee working nights is entitled to 20% of the minimum hourly wage supplement to their salary for every hour worked.

Employee Time Tracking Obligations in Poland

Employers are required to keep working time records for all employees individually. It may be conducted on paper or electronically. Employers must keep track of days of work, excused absences from work (e.g. illness), days off (e.g. vacation) and daily working hours.

Employers are not required to record the daily working hours in the following cases:

Penalties

Incorrect or incomplete working time record-keeping can be penalised by a fine ranging between 1,000zł and 30,000zł.

Working from Home Policy in Poland

Work from home

The Polish government is currently working on creating regulations specifically for remote working, which involves performing work entirely or partially away from the employer's office or the permanent workplace. This is a step up from the current recognition of teleworking alone. This also means that regulations as outlined before may change and some employer duties that are currently advisable, may become mandatory such as the exact workspace provision regulations.

The employer agrees individually with each employee on including telework and remote working, which both sides need to consent to. Often employers introduce internal regulations governing the organisation of remote work (home office).

Employers who have employees working from home must:

The separate agreement may determine:

If an employee uses their equipment necessary to perform work, they are entitled to a cash reimbursement for it. When calculating the exact amount, the employer should consider equipment wear and tear standards, documented market prices, and work usage percentage.

Health & safety at home

Employers must provide employees working from home with initial training in health and safety at work and follow-up training. They can skip the parts of the training, which are exclusively about the office. The employer's obligations are:

For employees working from a computer for at least half of their daily working hours, the employer must ensure:

Security of information

The employer must implement data protection rules. The employer should set out those rules for any data transferred to the employee and, when feasible, conduct a briefing and provide training for that purpose.

It is a good practice if the employee confirms, in writing, that they have been made aware of the rules of data protection and are obliged to comply with them.

Workspace Guidelines in Poland

Employers are responsible for providing an appropriate workstation compliant with employees' health and safety regulations working from home. As mentioned at the beginning what that involves is still not regulated by the Labour Code and it’s left to the determination of each individual employer and the nature of work of employees.

All workplace elements should meet the minimum requirements of occupational health and safety and ergonomics specified by regulations.

An employer's breach of obligations such as a failure to provide employees with an ergonomic workstation (desk, chair, etc.), if it turned out that in a given situation it was justified may:

A good practice is to have photos of the employee's workstation attached to the teleworking contract.

Working conditions

The employer can inspect the work performed by the employee at the workplace. When the workplace is the employee's home, the employer has the right to inspect:

The employer must adjust the inspection procedure to suit the place where work is performed and its characteristics. The inspection must not violate the employee and their family's privacy or prevent the appropriate use of the home premises.

The first health and safety at work inspection should be conducted at the employee's request before they start work.

Employers cannot discriminate against an employee who works from home or treat them any less favourably than another employee. This includes the start or end of the employment relationship, the employment conditions, promotion and access to training to improve professional qualifications. The Labour Code also stipulates that those working from home must have the same training as workers at the employer's premises.

Employers are exempt from controlling and recording employees' daily working time working from home but should still keep records of holidays, days off, and sick leave. 

Terms & Conditions of Employment in Poland

Non-compete clauses

Prohibiting an employee from joining a competitor after their employment ends requires a separate agreement, and the employer must compensate the employee. The compensation cannot be lower than 25% of the monthly remuneration paid to the employee for the duration of the non-competition ban. If the agreement does not specify the amount, the employee must be compensated at the statutory minimum amount.

A non-competition agreement that prohibits an employee from competitive activities during employment, or for a period after it, is permitted if they have access to essential information, which will damage the business if they disclose.

The agreement must have a defined period or otherwise may be declared invalid. The term of the agreement itself is not limited. Therefore, as long as the employer pays the compensation and the agreement period is reasonable, the parties' obligations to the agreement remain enforceable.

Work and Remuneration regulations

Employers with 50 or more employees must introduce work and remuneration regulations in the workplace. Employers employing less than 50 employees may introduce work / remuneration regulations if they want but are not mandated to do it.

Those regulations cannot have less favourable terms for employees than those in the Labour Code, other legal regulations, or collective agreements.

The work regulations that define the workplace rights and obligations of the employer and employees outline:

The work regulations enter into force two weeks after they have been disclosed to employees. The employer has to present the work regulations to each employee before they start work. The employee, in turn, confirms in writing that they have read the regulations. The employer should keep that document in the employee's file.

The remuneration regulations determine the conditions of remuneration for work. An employer may also outline in it other work-related benefits and how they grant them.

While it's the employer that determines the remuneration regulations, they must agree on them with the enterprise trade union if there is one.

Employers with more than 50 employees must create a Works Council to maintain employee rights. They must then consult them on the following matters:

Employees records

Employers must keep and maintain paper or electronic records on the employment relationship and personal employee files.

The employer is obliged to:

The employer must keep separate records for each employee on matters related to the employment relationship, including:

The employer must also keep registers of suspicion of occupational diseases, occupational diseases and accidents at work.

Intellectual property

Any work that an employee creates during their employment is covered by IP rights (e.g. economic copyrights in works, trademarks, inventions) and belongs to the employer. It should have been created within the scope of the employee's duties, unless otherwise stipulated in the employment contract. This does not apply to moral rights, which always remain with the author/inventor.

If an employee creates an invention (not a trademark or work) outside the scope of their duties but with the employer's help, the employer can use it in the limited scope provided for by law.

General Employee Rights in Poland

Employment contract

Poland has three employment contract types - a trial period agreement (maximum three months), an indefinite period contract, and a definite period contract.

The purpose of a trial period contract is to check the employee's qualifications and employment possibility. It is possible to re-sign an employment contract for a trial period with the same employee:

  1. If the individual will be employed in another job
  2. After a lapse of at least three years since the employee last held that job

A company can have a maximum of three consecutive definite period employment contracts with an employee, extending to a total of 33 months. If either limit is exceeded, the fixed-term employment transforms into an indefinite period employment contract. However, parties are allowed to exceed the limitations mentioned above if the fixed-term employment contract is signed for:

  1. Substituting an employee during a justified absence from work
  2. Completing occasional or seasonal work
  3. Performing work during the term of office
  4. If the employer points to objective reasons on their side
    1. For example, satisfying a periodical demand

Employment contracts must be in writing (failure to conclude a contract in writing is an offence by the employer punishable by a fine). The employer informs the Social Security Institution about the new hire no later than seven days after employment starts. Further, the employer has to report a set of specific statements and forms to authorities.

Employment contracts must be in Polish. They may be bilingual as long as one of the languages is Polish. According to the Polish Labour Code, an employment contract must include the below elements at a minimum:

The employer must also inform the employee of the following within seven days of the employment contract being executed:

If work regulations have not been adopted in the employing establishment, the information must also stipulate:

Health & Safety

Employers must provide healthy and safe working conditions for their employees and have adequate knowledge of health & safety at work. The employer must provide an initial OHS training for employees (before they are allowed to work) and follow that with periodical sessions.

The employer is obliged to protect employees' health and wellbeing by ensuring appropriate health and safety conditions. Some of their obligations include:

Employees should not bear any of the health and safety costs.

An employer with 100+ employees must create health & safety at work service.

Rights of employees under OHS:

Equal treatment

Employers should treat employees equally during hiring and dismissal, when receiving a promotion or training to improve professional qualifications or under any other employment terms and conditions, such as salary and work-related benefits.

In the event of a breach of non-discrimination regulations, an employee can claim compensation that cannot be lower than the minimum wage. The employer must prove that there was no discrimination.

Medical examination

Employees are entitled to initial, periodic and follow-up medical examinations. The employer bears the medical examination costs and, if possible, should schedule them during work hours. Employees cannot start working without a valid medical certificate stating that there are no contraindications to working in a specific role.

Employee Protections in Poland

Protection from discrimination

Under the Polish Law, it is illegal to directly or indirectly discriminate an employee in respect of gender, age, disability, race, religion, ethnic origin, nationality, sexual orientation, political or religious beliefs or trade union membership or in respect of the conditions of employment for a definite or an indefinite period, or full or part-time.

Protection from harassment, bullying and other forms of violence in work

In the event of any harassment, employees enjoy similar protection and rights as discriminated employees. Sexual harassment may also result in criminal liability and lead to a fine or imprisonment. The employer must act against workplace bullying and other forms of violence in work.

An employee with health problems resulting from workplace bullying may claim compensation from the employer as a money equivalent for the damage sustained. An employee who has been bullied or who terminates their employment contract due to workplace bullying has the right to claim compensation from the employer that is no less than the minimum remuneration for work, as specified under separate provisions.

Protection in the case of a business transfer

If a work establishment or a part of it is transferred to another company, some or all employees are automatically transferred to the new employer. In addition, the former and the new employer are jointly and seriously liable for the obligations arising from employment relationships created before the transfer date.

Within a year of the transfer date, the new employer must ensure that the transferred employees are covered by any collective labour agreements executed in the new employer's work establishment.

Although transferred employees are generally entitled to the same working terms and conditions after the transfer, changes are not prohibited by Polish labour law. However, any changes, particularly those that are disadvantageous to the transferred employees, can only be made following the procedures laid down in the Labour Code. The transfer of the work establishment, or part of it, should not be the single or primary reason for the changes.

The transfer of an undertaking, or part of it, cannot be the single or primary reason for an employer ending employment with notice.

Protection against dismissal

Employers need to state a valid reason to dismiss an employee on an indefinite period contract.

Moreover, certain types of employees have superior protection against termination during certain circumstances, including:

The Act regulating dismissals for reasons attributable to the employer, including collective dismissals, applies to employers with more than 20 employees. The application of the Act is connected, among other things, with the obligation to pay severance pay.

Job safety in Poland

Union

Employees should bear no negative consequences of membership or non-membership in a trade union or for holding a function in one. In particular, this cannot constitute a condition for entering into an employment relationship, maintaining one, or being promoted.

The company trade union organisation has a lot of power and plays a critical function in the organisation. Its rights are vested in an organisation with at least ten members and covers:

Required Employee Benefits in Poland

Employee capital plans (PPK)

PPK is a long-term savings system that allows employees to systematically accumulate capital for their retirement with the employers' and the state's support. It is a mandatory benefit that all employers must provide to employees, although employee participation is optional. An employee may at any time resign from making payments to the PPK by submitting a written declaration to their employer.

Mandatory Employee Benefits in Poland

Medical examination

When employers hire new employees, employees have to present an up-to-date medical certificate confirming there are no health reasons why the employee should not work. Aside from the initial medical examinations, the employer can refer the employee for regular medical check-ups and cover the cost for it.

The employer also bears any other preventative health care costs that may be necessary for work. Medical examinations' cost depends on the number and type of tests requested and how many specialists are involved. For instance, people working with a computer need to have an eye exam.

Initial medical examinations must be given to:

The following workers do not require an initial medical examination:

Employees have to undergo a periodic medical examination. Their frequency depends on the employee's position and its health hazards. As a general rule, they should be carried out no more than once a year and no less than once every five years. If an employee cannot work for longer than 30 days due to an illness, they should have a medical check-up to determine their ability to perform work in the current position.

Periodic medical examinations and medical check-ups should be conducted within working hours and employees should be paid for that time.

Allowing an employee to work without the required medical examination is an offence punishable by a fine that ranges from 1,000zł to 30,000zł (ca. €220 to €6,650).

Covid-19

The obligation to conduct periodic medical examinations is suspended for the duration of the COVID-19 state of emergency and 60 days after. Examinations may take place virtually via telemedicine.

Occupational safety and health training

Employees must undergo occupational safety and health training educating them about general job safety laws and guidelines. They should be given company- and job-specific safety instructions (work health conditions, risks and safety requirements). The overall 'initial occupational safety training' program has two components:

The OHS training is not required if the employee is returning to work in the same position they occupied with the employer. As a rule, OHS training should be repeated periodically. Its frequency depends on the work's type and conditions, and some roles such as administrative and office roles are exempt. The employer covers the costs of OHS training.

Failure to implement appropriate health and safety rules in the company, including failure to provide proper OHS training, may lead to a fine of 1,000zł to 30,000zł. In certain situations, if the breach of health and safety rules and regulations at the workplace exposes employees to immediate danger of loss of life or serious harm to health, the individual responsible for the breach may be subject to criminal liability.

Note: All employees must confirm, in writing on the appropriate form, that they have completed OHS training mentioned above.

Covid-19

The obligation to conduct periodic OHS training is suspended for the duration of the COVID-19 state of emergency and 60 days after. Initial OHS training may be conducted virtually.

Company social benefits fund & holiday funds

Also known as ZFŚS (Zakładowy Fundusz Świadczeń Socjalnych), this benefit funds employer's social activities that include: cultural and educational activities, sports and recreation, care of children in nurseries, children's clubs, day carers or nannies, kindergartens and other forms of pre-school education, providing material assistance - in-kind or financial, as well as repayable or non-repayable assistance for housing purposes under the terms of the agreement.

As a rule ZFŚS is mandatory for employers with at least 50 full-time employees in a given year. Employers may opt-out from establishing the Company Social Benefits Fund, but their remuneration regulations must include a provision in case they decide to do it. They should consult an employee representative before drafting the text of the amendment.

The ZFŚS allowance is calculated based on the average number of employees, and it's usually around 37.5% of the average national monthly salary.

The employer must transfer at least 75% of the allowance by 31 May and the full amount by 30 September to the Social Benefits Fund's bank account. Employers can voluntarily pay a holiday subsidy. The maximum amount of vacation pay cannot exceed the amount of the basic allowance defined in art. 5 sec. 2, 2a and 3 of the Act on ZFŚS.

The ZFŚŚ subsidy depends on the life, family and material situation of the person entitled to use it.

Employee capital plans (PPK)

PPK is a mandatory type of retirement savings plan financed jointly by the employee, the employer and the government and operated by a third party financial institution.

The employer pays a basic contribution of 1.5% of the employee's gross remuneration, while the employee contributes 2%. The state gives a welcome package of 250zł and an annual subsidy of 240zł.

PPK is voluntary for employees. However, if they are between 19 and 54 years of age, they are enrolled in PPK by default, which they can opt-out of. If employees are between 55 and 69 years of age, they must apply to join. Employees over 70 years of age cannot join PPK.

Exemption from the PPK for employers: If employers implement an Employee Pension Plan (PPE), which matches the PPK requirements,  are exempt from setting up PPK. However, if they cease to fulfil the requirements through the PPE, they will need to implement PPK.

Mandatory benefits for certain groups of employees

Employers, depending on the type of work performed by employees and compliance of employees with other requirements, have to provide certain benefits to specific employees such as:

Non-Mandatory Employee Benefits in Poland

Additional days off

Some companies give employees 27 to 30 days off per year instead of the statutory 20 days per year. A few companies go a step further and offer an extra day off for an employee's birthday.

Transportation

Many tech companies reimburse employees for the cost of taking public transport to and from work. Although less common, some companies provide high-level employees with a company car and/or reimburse fuel costs.

Additional PPK contribution

Employers may pay an additional contribution of up to 2.5% of employee's gross salary to each employee who decides to participate in PPK.

Supplementary pension

In addition to PPK or, in certain situations, instead of PPK, employers offer an additional Employee Pension Plan (PPE). PPE contributions are primarily paid by the employer, with the beneficiary sometimes contributing. To encourage employees to participate, some employers increase their contribution according to their length of service.

Supplementary health insurance

Private medical insurance is becoming more and more common in Poland, especially for senior personnel. Coverage often includes dependents and, sometimes, dental and vision coverage.

There are two ways of offering private healthcare to employees:

  1. Under a single contract with an Occupational Medical Center of the employer's choice
  2. By providing an allowance toward a private insurance policy (usually 150-300zł per month)

Note: The employer may finance in full or co-finance the costs of private health insurance. If the employer funds private health insurance in full, this cost is considered income and is subject to standard social contribution payments and tax. However, if the employer co-finances private health insurance costs, this cost is exempt from taxation and social security contributions.

Supplementary life insurance

Life insurance is a very common benefit in the tech industry.

Cash bonus

Bonuses for employee's performance and quality of work are common across multiple industries, granted at the discretion of the employer. There are no rules regarding the amounts and forms of the bonus. The bonus's value constitutes income for the employee and is subject to taxation and social security contributions.

ZFŚS

Employers who do not meet the criteria of employing 50 full-time employees may establish the ZFŚS voluntarily.

Flexibility

Most tech companies offer employees flexibility in regards to hours and location (home office). More and more companies are starting to offer fully remote options or optional office attendance, while others provide a hybrid model of 2-3 days at the office.

Telephone costs

Some companies reimburse employees' mobile expenses (also used for private purposes).

Hardware

Tech companies often provide employees with the latest hardware and software products when it comes to equipment and also the option to choose their kit.

Fitness allowance

More and more tech companies offer fitness support, such as gym memberships, to their employees. Multisport membership is a widespread benefit in the industry.

Training budget

Most tech companies allocate an allowance per employee to be spent on training and conferences desired by the employee. At the same time, others reimburse employees spending on professional development.

Wellness

Many companies provide a variety of wellness support to employees, such as an Employee Assistance Programme.

Meals

Many tech companies offer free in-office lunches (from 1 to 5 days a week), snacks and drinks or lunch cards/vouchers.

Relocation

Many tech employers provide employees with relocation support, visa sponsorship and sometimes language lessons.

Referral program

Some companies offer a bonus for employees that refer others to work in the company.

Equity

Some startups offer share options to employees.

Business travel insurance

According to Polish law, employers who delegate employees abroad must cover the costs of any medical treatment that occurs. That is why most companies offer business travel insurance covering medicines and transport costs, which is a cheaper solution.

Employer Contributions in Poland

Social security

Social security contributions, which both employers and employees contribute to, are approximately 35% of an employee's salary. While individual caps are in place, the employer portion is between 19.21% and 22.14% of the employee's gross pay.

The employer contribution includes accident insurance, whose amount varies based on employee count and the business sector.

The pension and disability contributions are capped at salaries of 157,770zł (2021). Beyond this amount, the employer does not pay any contributions.

Employees' contributions are withheld and remitted by the employer to the Social Security Authorities (ZUS) alongside their contribution.

Employer's social security contribution breakdown

CONTRIBUTIONCONTRIBUTION AMOUNT
Pensions & disability insurance16.26% of the total gross salary (up to the cap of 157,770zł in 2021)
Accident insurance1.67% of total gross salary for employers that employ up to nine employees. 0.67% to 3.33% of total gross salary for employers that employ more than nine employees (the precise rate depends on the business sector). Foreign employers pay a flat rate of 1.67%.
Labour Fund2.45% of the total gross salary
Employee Guaranteed Benefits Fund0.10% of the total gross salary
Solidarity Fund for Support of Disabled PersonsThe product of 40.65% of the average salary and the number of employees corresponding to the difference between the employment ensuring the achievement of an employment indicator for disabled persons of 6% and the actual employment of disabled persons. Entrepreneurs who employ at least 25 people full-time and at the same time do not achieve the minimum 6% employment indicator for disabled people are obliged to pay that contributions.

Employee capital plans (PPK)

PPK is a mandatory employee long-term retirement savings program financed jointly by the employee, the employer and the government and operated by a third party financial institution.

The employer pays a basic contribution of 1.5% of the gross salary to each participating employee. Employers can opt for an additional contribution of up to 2.5% extra. There are no caps.

The employer should also calculate, deduct and submit the employee contribution to the financial institution which operates PPK.

Health insurance

Only employees make health insurance contributions in Poland. However, when the employer runs payroll, they should calculate, deduct and submit the employees' contribution on their behalf.

Employee Contributions in Poland

Residents of Poland are subject to tax on their worldwide income, whereas non-residents are subject only to tax on the income generated within the country. To be considered a resident, an individual must spend more than 183 days a year in Poland and/or base their personal or economic interests in Poland.

GROSS INCOMEPROGRESSIVE TAX RATE (%)
Up to 85,528zł17
Over 85,528zł32

Employed individuals under 26 years of age are exempt from tax on income up to 85,528zł per year.

Solidarity tax

All Polish residents who earn more than 1 million zł are subject to a solidarity tax of 4% on the excess.

Social security

Employees pay 13.71% of gross salary for social security.

The employer withholds the employee contributions and remits them alongside their contribution.

Employee social security contribution breakdown

CONTRIBUTIONCONTRIBUTION AMOUNT
Pensions and disability insurance14,020
Sickness insurance2.45% of total gross salary

Healthcare

Employees must make a 9% healthcare contribution, partly tax-deductible (and is collected and remitted by the employer).

Up to 7.75% of the contribution can be deducted from tax. The remaining part of the healthcare contribution (1.25% of the assessment basis) is a non-deductible cost, which decreases the after-tax income.

Employee capital plans (PPK)

PPK is voluntary for employees. However, if they are between 19 and 54 years of age, they are enrolled in PPK by default, which they can opt-out of. If employees are between 55 and 69 years of age, they must apply to join. Employees over 70 years of age cannot join PPK.

The basic employee contribution is 2% of gross remuneration. The employee may opt for an additional contribution of up to 2% of their gross salary.

Tax-Free Allowance in Poland

Personal allowances

For 2021, there is a personal allowance (amount decreasing tax) for all taxpayers whose annual income does not exceed 127,000zł. This allowance is a credit against PIT (not a deduction from the taxable base), and it varies from 1,360zł to 0.01zł.

Annual taxable income (zł)

OVER (IN ZŁ)NOT OVER (IN ZŁ)AMOUNT DECREASING TAX (IN ZŁ)
08,0001,360
8,00013,0001,360 to 834.88 x (annual taxable income - 8,000zł) / 5,000zł
13,00085,258525.12
85,528127,000525.12 x (annual taxable income - 85,528zł) / 41,472zł
127,0000

Child deduction

Furthermore, the annual income tax due for 2021 can be reduced by:

If a child was only partially in the custody of the individual, the allowance is proportionally lowered.

Employment expenses

The following employment expenses are tax-exempt:

Personal deductions

Charitable contributions

Individuals can deduct donations from their gross income, subject to many conditions and an a cap of 6% of taxable income.

Healthcare expenses

Disabled taxpayers or taxpayer supporting a disabled individual can deduct expenses for rehabilitation and costs related to facilitating life activities. Examples include adaptation to and equipping of apartments, residential buildings, motor vehicles to meet disability needs; purchasing and repairing personal equipment, appliances, and technical instruments necessary for rehabilitation or facilitating life activities, according to the disability needs. The only exception is household equipment. Taxpayers should document all expenses.

Taxes paid

Social security contributions by employees can be deducted up to specified limits.

Under some conditions, it is possible to deduct compulsory social security contributions from taxable income if paid in another EU or European Economic Area (EEA) member state or in Switzerland.

Standard deductions

Since 2020, there was a two-fold increase in deductible costs for employees. Monthly deductible expenses increased from 111.25zł to 250zł per month. This is a standard deduction for employees. The annual limit of tax costs cannot exceed 3,000zł. If obtaining income from more than one employment relationship, the upper limit of costs increased to 4,500zł.

The limit of the deduction is 85,528zł per annum.

Overview

CURRENCY
Polish Złoty (zł)
WORKING HOURS
40 hours per week as standard
PUBLIC/BANK HOLIDAYS
13 days per year
CAPITAL
Warsaw
LANGUAGE
Polish
REMOTE WORKERS
813,700
MINIMUM Monthly SALARY
3,010zł gross
TAX YEAR
1st Jan - 31st Dec
DATE FORMAT
DD / MM / YYYY
MISCLASSIFICATION PENALTIES
Fine of 1,000zł to 30,000zł (€220 to €6,650) for violation of workers' rights, including misclassification
FUN FACT
Traditional Polish surnames change depending on gender.
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info@boundlessHQ.com
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