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Hire in Poland

Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Poland.

Currency of Poland

Polish Zloty (PLN)

The Capital of Poland

Warsaw

Time Zone in Poland

GMT+1

Important Facts About the Country of Poland

Introduction to Poland

Poland, officially called the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces and has a population of just under 38 million people. The capital city Warsaw (‘Warszawa’) is also the economic and political center of the country. As a result of a state-paid university system, many workers are highly qualified and specialized. This is especially true in the fields of IT and engineering.

What to Know about Poland's Geography

Poland covers an area of 313,000 square kilometers, making it the ninth largest country in Europe. Poland has a border with Germany to the west, with the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south and with Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Russia to the east and northeast.

Climate in Poland

Poland has a moderate climate characterized by relatively cold winters and warm summers.

The Culture of Poland

Poland’s traditions and customs are based on a history with origins in the Slavic culture. The church affiliation has influenced the holidays and traditions, forming an essential part of Polish culture. Family values are also very important in Polish society. Most Poles speak more than one language because of the country’s proximity to many other countries. Notably, most Poles speak English at least at a conversational level.

Religions Observed in Poland

The Roman Catholic Church is the largest church in Poland with the majority (around 95%) of the population being Roman-Catholic. Approximately 75% of the population attends church services regularly.

Languages Spoken in Poland

The sole official language of Poland, as established by the Constitution, is Polish.

Polish Human Resources at a Glance

Employment Law Protections in Poland

Poland’s Labor Code is the key legal act regulating relations between employers and employees. It sets out conditions under which work can be executed in Poland. Employment contracts cannot be less advantageous to the employee than the regulations provided in the Labor Code and any secondary regulations issued thereto.

Key Points – Employers in Poland should prepare for:

  • an ever-evolving tax and social security system
  • strong presence and high activity of trade unions (in the case of major employers)
  • labor courts sensitive to employee rights
  • strict EU data protection regulations (e.g. hindering the transfer of personal data outside of the EU)

The rights and obligations of both employees and employers are defined in the following sources of labor law:

  • The Constitution of the Republic of Poland, which defines general principles of freedom to work and social rights
  • The law established by the appropriate bodies of the European Union in the scope of labor law
  • International agreements concerning labor law issues
  • Labor Code,
  • Acts and secondary legislation, defining the employees’ and employers’ rights and obligations
  • Provisions of collective labor agreements and other agreements, rules, procedures and statutes setting forth the rights and obligations of the parties to the employment relation

The mutual rights and obligations of both parties are also defined in an employment contract.

Employment Contracts in Poland

The employment contract is concluded in writing. If the employment contract is not concluded in writing, the employer will be obliged to confirm to the employee in writing the arrangement as to the contracting parties, the type of the contract and employment terms before admitting them to work.

Minimum requirements for inclusion in a contract of employment:

  • the contracting parties
  • the type of contract
  • the date of its conclusion
  • the conditions of work and remuneration, in particular:
    • the type of work
    • the place of work
    • the remuneration for work corresponding to the type of work, with indication of the remuneration components
    • the working hours
    • the start date of work

Additionally, the employer must notify the employee in writing about other conditions of pay indicated in the Labor Code within seven days from concluding the employment agreement. All changes to the conditions of work and pay require a written form.

Poland's Contract Terms

The following types of the employment contract are recognized in the Polish Labor Code, with unlimited-term contracts being most typical:

  • a contract of employment for a probationary period
  • a contract of employment for an indefinite term
  • a contract of employment for a fixed term

An employee who has been employed with an employer for at least six months will be able to request (once per calendar year) a change in the type of employment, the type of contract for an indefinite period, or full-time employment. The employer should, as far as possible, accommodate such a request from the employee. The employer must respond to the request no later than one month from the date of receipt of the request, and in the event of a refusal, with reasons for the refusal.

Poland's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period/Trial Period

An employment contract for a trial period can be entered into for no more than three months in order to check the employee’s qualifications and whether he can be employed to carry out a specific type of work. After the trial period, the parties are not allowed to conclude another contract for a trial period, except when the employee is to be employed in order to carry out a different type of work.
For fixed-term contracts, the maximum length of the probation period is dependent on the period of the contract:

  • Less than six months: One month
  • At least six months and less than 12 months: Two months
  • At least 12 months or an indefinite period: Three months

Regulations and Rules Regarding Working Hours in Poland

In Poland, the working time may not exceed 8 hours per day and 40 hours in an average five-day working week in the agreed settlement period, which does not exceed, as a rule, 4 months. At GoGlobal, a one-month settlement period applies. The weekly working time including overtime cannot exceed an average of 48 hours in the adopted settlement period. Every employee is entitled to uninterrupted daily rest of at least 11 hours.

Overtime

Working overtime is allowed in two situations only:

  • if overtime work is necessary to conduct a rescue operation in order to protect human life or health, to protect the property or to protect the environment.
  • in the case of special needs of the employer. It is the employer who assesses whether there special needs have occurred that justify working overtime.

The regulations on the daily rest period have an indirect effect on the maximum daily hours of overtime. Working hours plus overtime may not exceed 13 hours per day due to the necessity to ensure that an employee receives 11 hours of daily rest. The maximum number of overtime hours per year may not exceed four hours per day or 416 hours per calendar year.

  • Overtime is paid at 150% of normal hourly remuneration for work on weekdays and on Saturdays.

Health and Safety in the Workplace

The Constitution of the Republic of Poland states that everyone is entitled to safe and hygienic work conditions. This principle has been specified in the Labour Code, which states that both the employer and the employee have obligations in the field of health and safety at work.

Employers are required to provide employees with adequate training in health and safety regulations. This training should be conducted before an employee is permitted to start working, and should be repeated periodically throughout their employment. By doing so, employers can ensure that their workers have the necessary qualifications and skills to work safely and avoid any workplace accidents or injuries. This includes providing employees with sufficient knowledge of the regulations and rules of health and safety at work.

Health and safety training that should be provided:

  • Initial training, which is organized on the first day.

Health Checks

Every employee must undergo an initial medical examination (“badania wstępne” before starting work and then a periodic examination (“badania okresowe”) before the initial check’s expiry date (roughly after 2-4 years from the initial check). In certain situations, an employee will also be required to complete a check-up examination (if the employee has been signed off sick for at least 30 calendar days). In such case, they will need to complete a check-up examination before coming back to work.

Rules Regarding Bonus and 13th Month Pay in Poland

It is common practice in Poland for employees to be awarded with bonuses. Although the law does not regulate bonuses, usually they are divided into awards of a discretionary nature (so employees cannot effectively claim them) and bonuses which can be claimed by employees.

Bonuses are awarded to employees on the fulfillment of objective criteria. This is outlined in the employment contract, employer’s internal labor law regulations or other documents.

Termination

Polish law maintains detailed rules regarding the unilateral termination (with notice and with immediate effect) served by both employers and employees. These regulations vary depending on the type of employment contract. A contract of employment can be terminated:

  • by mutual agreement of the parties
  • by a statement of will issued by one of the parties with a period of advance notice (‘termination of a contract of employment with notice’)
  • by a statement of will issued by one of the parties without a period of advance notice (‘termination of a contract of employment without notice’)
  • upon expiry of the agreed contract term

Grounds: An employer that terminates the open-ended employment contract or fixed-term contract, or terminates the employment with immediate effect must specify the reasons for termination, which must be concrete, justified and real. The termination letter must detail all the reasons for termination as it is not possible to later bring up other reasons before the court. In the case of termination with immediate effect, Polish law counts the reasons for termination.

Employees subject to termination laws: Polish law provides for general protection against dismissal, which is granted to all employees engaged under open-ended contracts. Special protections against termination may also apply due to an employee’s life situation or the specific role the employee holds.

Prohibited or restricted terminations: There are statutory limitations on an employer’s right to unilaterally terminate the employment relationship with some groups of employees due to their age (e.g. employees who will reach retirement age in less than four years), life situation (e.g. due to pregnancy, when using maternity leave, paternity leave, parental leave and childcare leave, during sick leave, holiday leave) or the function they hold (e.g. trade union leaders and works council members).

Third-party approval for termination/termination documents: In the case of protected employees, the restriction on termination may require the employer to seek the consent of certain bodies for the termination of employment. For example, they may need to seek a trade union’s consent for summary dismissal of a pregnant employee.

In the termination of an open-ended employment contract with notice or termination with immediate effect with an employee represented by the trade union, the employer must notify the trade union in writing on the intended termination and the reasons for the termination. The trade union’s opinion is not binding for the employer.

Mass layoff rules: There is a special procedure for terminations in the case of collective redundancies. This applies to employers engaging at least 20 employees and terminating employment on grounds not related to individual employees. Collective redundancies cover the dismissal of at least:

  • 10 employees in entities normally employing less than 100 employees
  • 10% of the employees in entities normally employ at least 100, but fewer than 300 employees
  • 30 employees in entities normally employing at least 300 employees.

Unfair dismissal: In the case of unlawful or unjustified termination with or without notice, an employee can claim reinstatement to work on the previous conditions or compensation in the limited amount specified in the statutory regulations.

Poland's Requirements Regarding Notice Periods

The period of notice for an employment contract set for an indefinite period of time depends on the employment period with a given employer. The notice period amounts to:

  • two weeks if the employee has been employed for less than six months
  • one month if the employee has been employed for at least six months
  • three months if the employee has been employed for at least three years

The period of notice for a contract of employment concluded for a probationary period is:

  • three working days if the trial period is not longer than two weeks
  • one week if the trial period is longer than two weeks
  • two weeks if the trial period is set at three months

Garden Leave: The employer may exempt the employee from the obligation to perform work until the lapse of the notice period upon termination of the employment contract. During the period of exemption, the employee will retain the right to remuneration.

If the annual leave is not used by the date of termination of the employment contract, the employee is entitled to a cash equivalent.

Redundancy/Severance Pay in Poland

Severance pay is necessary for individual terminations of employment for reasons unrelated to the employee (by employers engaging at least 20 employees). Severance pay is granted to redundant employees based on their length of service with their current employer as follows:

  • 1 month’s salary if the service period is less than 2 years
  • 2 months’ salary if the service period is between 2 and 8 years
  • 3 months’ salary if the service period is 8 years or more.

Severance pay cannot exceed 15 times the minimum wage (4,242 PLN as of January 2024 ) (minimum wage will rise to 4,300 PLN on July 2024.)

Post-Termination Restraints / Restrictive Covenants

Non-competes

The Labour Code explicitly allows for the parallel employment of an employee with another employer. The employer cannot prohibit such employment unless a non-compete agreement is concluded. Non-competition agreements with key employees can be considered.

In the absence of a non-competition agreement, employee’s additional employment cannot be a reason justifying the termination of the employment contract.

Parties to an employment relationship can enter into a non-compete agreement which will be effective during the term of employment, as well as after the employment relationship has ceased. A non-compete agreement must be concluded in writing in order to be valid. A non-compete agreement effective after the termination of employment must specify the period of prohibition of competition, the scope of the non-compete restriction and the amount of compensation due to the employee. The compensation must not be lower than 25% of the remuneration received by the employee prior to the termination of the employment relationship for a period corresponding to the period of validity of the prohibition of competition. Polish law allows such compensation to be paid in monthly instalments.

Customer non-solicits

Statutory prohibition to induce the employer’s clients to terminate, not to fulfil or improperly fulfil their contractual duties with an aim for the inducing person to gain benefits for him/herself or for a third party or to cause damage to the employer.

Employee non-solicits

Non-solicitation of employee clauses are invalid based on case law as they violate the right to free choice of employment. No person may be prohibited from exercising their profession.

Polish Timesheets

In 2019, the European Court of Justice stated companies must set up an objective, reliable and accessible system to record the working time of their employees.

Trade Unions / Collective Agreements in Poland

Freedom of association in trade unions is guaranteed to anyone engaged in gainful employment in Poland.

Membership in a trade union is voluntary. No one can suffer negative consequences due to their membership in a trade union. Trade unions represent both collective and individual rights and the interests of employees. In respect of collective rights and interests, trade unions represent all employees regardless of their union membership (e.g. they conclude collective bargaining agreements, arrangements, agree on work regulations, remuneration, the company social benefits fund, etc.).

If a trade union operates in the workplace, it may request an employer adopt workplace or remuneration regulations. This applies if the employer has between 20 and 49 employees. The content of the workplace and remuneration regulations must be agreed with the trade unions, if one operates at the entity.

Fixed Term Contacts for Polish Employees

Fixed Term Contacts for Polish Employees

A contract of employment for a fixed term, and the total period of employment where multiple consecutive fixed-term contracts are concluded between the same parties in the employment relationship, must not exceed 33 months. A maximum of three consecutive fixed-term contracts are allowed.

If the period of employment on the basis of a fixed-term contract or contracts of employment is longer than 33 months (or if the number of fixed-term contracts is greater than three) then, from the day following the lapse of that period or from the date of conclusion of the fourth fixed-term contract of employment, the employee is deemed to be employed under an indefinite-term employment contract.

There are four exemptions, when fixed-term employment contracts can exceed the period or number mentioned above:

  1. for the replacement of an employee during their justified work absence
  2. for the purpose of performing work of ad hoc or seasonal nature
  3. for performance of work for a term of office
  4. if the employer indicates objective reasons attributed to specific business needs

In point four above, the need must serve a real periodic demand and be necessary in consideration of all the circumstances of the conclusion of the contract. This also applies to the situation where a fixed-term employment contract (which would have been terminated after the end of the third month of pregnancy) has been extended until the date of childbirth. The relevant district labor inspector must be notified in writing by the employer when concluding a fixed-term employment contract.

Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Poland

Personal Income Tax in Poland

In 2024, Poland applies a progressive income tax scale to individuals as follows:

Annual Income  Rate
Up to 120,000 12% minus *tax-reducing amount PLN 3,600
over PLN 120,000 PLN 10,800 plus 32% of any amount over PLN 120,000

*The tax-reducing amount in 2024 will be settled monthly, in the amount of PLN 300 (PLN 3600 /12).

Polish employers must deduct tax from their employees’ taxable salary and pay it to the tax office by the 20th day of the month following that for which the tax is payable. Annual returns must generally be filed by employees (and tax due paid) by April 30th of the following year, stating all sources of income and showing any additional tax due.

Social Security in Poland

In Poland, social security contributions consist of pension, disability, accident and sickness insurance. Social security contributions are compulsory and payable by employers. The contributions are financed by both employers and employees. Employers must deduct the appropriate amounts from the employee’s salary and pay the contributions monthly to the social security office by the 15th day of the month following that for which they are payable. The amounts of contributions for each type of insurance are:

Type of Insurance Paid by Employer (%) Paid by Employee (%) Total (%)
Pension Fund* 9.76 9.76 19.52
Disability Fund* 6.50 1.50 8.00
Bridging Pension Fund (FEP) 0.00 or 1.50  0.00 0.00 or 1.50
Health Fund 0.00 9.00 9.00
Illness Fund 0.00 2.45 2.45
Accident Fund** 0.67 – 3.33 0.00 0.67 – 3.33
Employees’ Guaranteed Benefits Fund 0.10 0.00 0.10
Labour Fund 2.45 0.00 2.45
PFRON (State Fund for Rehabilitation of the Disabled) 1.00 (estimated, subject to revision every quarter) 0.00 1.00
Total (up to limit) 20.48 – 24.64 13.71 33.19 – 35.85

* Once an individual’s gross remuneration exceeds 30 average estimated national salaries for a given year (PLN 208 050.00 for 2023), contributions toward these funds cease.

** Accident fund contributions are calculated based on the number of individuals registered for accident insurance and the activity of the payer specified under the employer’s statistical REGON number (according to the Polish Classification of Business Activities-PKD). The level of the accident fund is determined through the decision of social security authorities.

The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged by GoGlobal will differ.

Important Information for Polish Employees

Salary Payment

Employees are typically paid their salaries on a monthly basis in Poland. The labor code provisions stipulate that remuneration will be paid to employees to the bank account of their choosing. Cash payments to employees are only possible if the employee specifically requests it.

Payslip

Employers may provide payslips to their employees online.

Annual Leave

Statutory minimum holiday leave is either 20 or 26 days in a calendar year, depending on the employee’s employment record. Employees who have worked for less than ten years are entitled to 20 days while employees who have worked for at least ten years are entitled to 26 days. The period based on which holiday entitlement is calculated accounts for education. For example, graduation from university counts as eight years’ employment. For the period of leave, the employee is entitled to the remuneration they would receive if they were working during that time.

The employer grants leave to the employee in the calendar year in which the employee acquired the right to it. As part of holiday leave, the employer is required to grant leave (of not more than four days per calendar year) on the dates specified by the employee.

Carry Over Rules

Overdue leave should be used by the end of the third quarter of the following calendar year.

Sick Leave

All individuals, including foreign citizens, employed in Poland under a contract of employment or a contract of mandate are registered with the Polish National Health Fund (NFZ) and entitled to healthcare benefits. Contributions to NFZ are deducted every month from the employee’s income.

Employees who are unable to work due to illness or injury are entitled to time off if they justify their absence from work by providing the employer with a medical certificate (sick leave note – zwolnienie lekarskie). Polish employees cannot self-certify their illness in order to receive sick pay. The sick leave note is automatically delivered to the employer via Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) online portal.

During the first 33 days of incapacity to work due to illness in a calendar year (or, in the case of employees who have reached the age of 50, 14 days), the employer pays the employee 80% of their average remuneration. The employer’s internal regulations can provide for a higher amount. In any case, employees are entitled to 100% of their average remuneration if incapacity to work is caused by any of the following:

  • An accident at work.
  • Illness during pregnancy.
  • Medical tests are carried out on candidates for cell, organ or tissue donors.

If the period of illness extends to 33 days, the employee is entitled to receive a sickness allowance (zasiłek chorobowy) financed by the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS). The sickness allowance can be paid for a period of up to 182 days or 270 days if the incapacity to work is caused by tuberculosis or occurs during pregnancy. The amount of sickness allowance usually equals the amount of sick pay. Additionally, hospitalized employees are entitled to an allowance in the amount of 80 percent of their salary.

All employees acquire the right to sick pay and sickness allowance on day one of employment as long as the gap between employment is not longer than 30 days. In case it is, employees will be eligible to sick pay/sick benefits 30 days after being registered in the insurance scheme. Sickness benefit is paid by any employer employing over 20 persons. The amount of sickness benefit paid by the employer is then deducted from the social security contributions due from the employer.

Compassionate & Bereavement Leave

Two days of paid leave from are granted to an employee for the following events:

  • wedding
  • the birth of their child
  • funeral of the employee’s spouse, child, father, mother, stepfather or stepmother

One day of paid leave from work is granted in the following events:

  • child’s wedding,
  • death and funeral of a sister, brother, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandmother, grandfather or another person who is a dependent of the employee or has been under their direct care.

Childcare: An employee raising at least one child up to the age of 14 is entitled to 16 hours or two days of paid leave from work during a calendar year..

Other Rights for Leave of Absence

Training leave: Training leave is offered to an employee who is undergoing workplace training at the initiative of the employer or with its consent in accordance with the rules specified in the provisions of the Labor Code. The employee retains the right to compensation for the duration of the training leave. The length of this leave is:

  • Six days – offered for an employee participating in external exams.
  • Six days  – offered for an employee participating in exams to confirm professional qualifications.
  • 21 days – offered during the final year of studies for the completion of a thesis as well as to prepare for and take the diploma exam.

Disability Leave: A person classified to have a severe or moderate degree of disability is entitled to an additional holiday leave of 10 working days in a calendar year. The right is acquired by the person after working one year and after being classified in one of the above degrees of disability.

Time off for reasons of force majeure: Employees are entitled to 2 days or 16 hours per calendar year, for reasons of force majeure, for urgent family matters caused by illness or accident, if the employee’s immediate presence is necessary. The employee receives 50% of the compensation due during the leave period. The employer is obliged to grant the leave when the employee requests, no later than on the day the time off is taken.

Carer’s leave: Employees are entitled to 5 days per calendar year to provide personal care or support to a person who is a member of the family or living in the same household, and who requires substantial care or substantial support for serious medical reasons. A family member for such leave is considered a son, daughter, mother, father, or spouse.

No remuneration shall be paid for the period of carer’s leave, but the period of leave shall be counted as part of the period of employment on which the employee’s entitlements depend.

A leave of absence shall be granted at the employee’s request no later than one day before the start of the leave. The request will not detail the medical condition of the person for whom the employee is providing personal care, only why the employee needs to provide personal care or support.

Maternity & Parental Leave

Women’s work is subject to special protection in connection with pregnancy and maternity:

  • During pregnancy and maternity leave, the employer may not terminate the contract of employment.
  • Fixed-term contracts which would be terminated after the end of the third month of pregnancy or contracts for a probationary period exceeding one month are to be extended until the date of childbirth.
  • A pregnant employee cannot work overtime or at night. She also cannot be ordered to work outside of her permanent workplace or be employed in an interrupted working hours system without her consent.
  • A breastfeeding employee has the right to two half-hourly breaks during work, which are to be included in the working hours.
  • The employer is required to grant pregnant employees leave from work for medical examinations recommended by a doctor in connection with the pregnancy if these examinations cannot be performed outside working hours. The employee retains the right to compensation for this time of absence.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women must not perform tasks which are arduous, dangerous or harmful to their health. This list of tasks is outlined by legal provisions.
  • An employee has the right to maternity leave of 20 weeks in the case of having given birth to one child, 31 weeks for having given birth to twins or 33 weeks in the case of having triplets. No more than six weeks of maternity leave can be used before the expected date of birth.
  • Maternity allowance is paid by ZUS and equals 100% of the average monthly wage paid over the 12 months preceding the leave.
  • The child’s father is entitled to the full maternity allowance if the mother has died or abandoned the child.

Adoption leave 

An adopting parent is entitled to leave on the same conditions as maternity leave. The duration of leave is also the same as stated above and depends on the number of children adopted.

The employee is entitled to the leave no longer until the child reaches the age of 7 or, in the case of a child for whom a decision is made to postpone school attendance, until the age of 10.

An adopting father employee also has the right to paternity leave, which may be used until the end of the 24-month period from the date the court’s adoption decision becomes final and valid. The employee is entitled to the leave no longer until the child reaches the age of 7 or, in the case of a child for whom a decision is made to postpone school attendance, until the age of 10.

Parental leave

An additional 32-week-long parental leave (or up to 34 weeks, in the case of giving birth to two and more children at a time) may be granted to any of the parents. Additional Nine weeks of the leave are attributed to the second parent. This right cannot be transferred to the first parent. If the other parent does not use the nine weeks to which he or she is entitled by the end of the calendar year in which the child turns six, he or she loses the right to them.

Parental leave may be granted in one go or in no more than five parts up to the end of the calendar year in which the child reaches the age of six.

As a general rule, the parent on parental leave will receive 60% of his or her basic allowance.

Paternity leave

A father raising a child has the right to use paternity leave. The right to such leave applies until the child reaches the age of 12 months.

  • The length of paternity leave is up to two weeks and this period can be divided into two parts, each of which can be used at any time.
  • The mother may elect to reduce her maternity leave following the first 14 weeks of leave. In this case, the father can take the remaining part of the maternity leave upon his written request.
  • Maternity allowance applies for the duration of paternity leave.

Public Holidays

Apart from the holiday leave, the employee is entitled to Sundays and public holidays off work. At present, there are thirteen public holidays in a calendar year. Public holidays are not included in statutory holiday entitlement.

Benefits to the Employee in Poland

Polish Statutory Benefits

The following statutory benefits apply to employees in Poland:

  • Old-age and survivor’s pension
  • unemployment
  • maternity and paternity benefits
  • insurance against accidents at work
  • insurance against occupational diseases
  • family benefits
  • compulsory insurance for healthcare
  • Remote work allowance

The state social system provides for health insurance and pension coverage. On January 1, 2019, a new form of saving was introduced into the Polish legal system that allows the accumulation of additional funds for retirement into employee pension plans. The new law is called Employee Capital Plan (PPK). Contributions to employee pension plans will be financed by the employer (1.5% of the remuneration) and by the employee (2% of the remuneration) – with limited options to increase these amounts. Employees may decide to opt out of the scheme.

Other Benefits

The most popular supplementary employee benefits in Poland are:

  • Private Medical Insurance
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Business Travel Insurance
  • Employee Perks such as employer supported gym membership or companies subsidizing employees’ education, training or language course costs.

Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Poland

General Information

As Poland is a member of the European Union (EU), citizens of other EU member states do not need a permit to work in the country. Most other individuals will need a visa to stay in the country as well as a permit to work.

There are several types of visas available for non-EU citizens seeking entry into Poland for employment purposes, including:

  • Work Permit (Type A): This permit is required for foreigners who work for a Polish employer.
  • Work Permit (Type C or E): This permit is available for those sent to work in Poland through an intra-company transfer.
  • Business visa (Schengen Visa C or D)
  • Freelance/entrepreneur visa

Work Permits

Procedure for obtaining approval: The employer must provide several documents to obtain a work permit on behalf of a foreign employee. Work permits are issued by the province governor (‘voivode’ or ‘wojewoda’) for the employer’s registered office.

The province governor issues a work permit for a fixed-term not exceeding three years. In the case of managers (management board members), a work permit can be issued for up to five years.

A work permit can be issued by the province governor if both:

  • The foreign national’s remuneration is not less than the remuneration paid to a Polish employee in a similar role.
  • The district governor (‘starosta’) confirms the vacancy cannot be filled by a person registered as unemployed or seeking employment – or if the recruitment organized for the employer turns out to be ineffective.
  • Several exceptions to these requirements exist within specific regulations.
  • A work permit is issued on the employer’s request and the documents to be provided include:
  • A completed application form
  • Evidence of payment of application fees
  • Confirmation of the legal status of the employer from the National Court Register
  • Current records of the employer’s economic activity
  • Copies of the applicant’s passport pages with relevant travel information
  • Confirmation that the applicant has health insurance
  • A deed for the company
  • A copy of a statement regarding profits or losses sustained by the employer
  • A copy of a contract in accordance with the service being provided in Poland
  • The employment contract with the foreign national must strictly reflect the conditions relating to employment duration, workplace and the employee’s role.

Time frame: It usually takes up to 6 months for a work permit to be obtained.

Foreign nationals must also legalize their residence in Poland by obtaining a temporary residence permit if their stay in Poland is to exceed three months. This is subject to certain exceptions. A temporary residence (‘karta pobytu’) in Poland can be obtained if the employee can demonstrate they will be staying in Poland for more than three months in order to work. Permission for temporary residence is normally granted for a maximum of two years. A residency permit can then be renewed every subsequent two years.

Getting a Tax Number

The PESEL number (Polish acronym for “Universal Electronic System for Registration of the Population”) must be obtained by foreigners wanting to stay in Poland for longer than a few months. This applies whether the individual is an EU citizen or not. An employee can be hired without the PESEL number. However, the employer will need it soon after employment commences to fulfill their obligations of paying insurance and taxes.

Anyone who registers their address will be granted this important identification number. In Poland, any person who wishes to stay in Poland for longer is obliged to register where they live with the local City Council (‘Urząd Miasta’). Polish and EU citizens have three months to register their new place of living and non-EU citizens need to fulfill this requirement within 30 days from the day they arrive in Poland. Once that requirement is fulfilled, the local government automatically generates the PESEL number and sends the document to the provided address.

Public Holidays Recognized by Poland in 2024

Occasion Date
1 New Year’s Day January 1
2 Epiphany January 6
3 Easter Sunday March 31
4 Easter Monday April 1
5 Labour Day May 1
6 Constitution Day May 3
7 Whit Sunday (Pentecost) May 19
8 Corpus Christi May 30
9 Assumption Day and Polish Armed Forces Day August 15
10 All Saints’ Day November 1
11 Independence Day November 11
12 Christmas Day December 25
13 Second Day of Christmas December 26

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