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EMPLOYMENT AND WORK IN POLAND

Introdiuction
In the year 2009, the Treaty on Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which amended the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on Establishing European Community, was adopted and came into force. According to its Article 21, each citizen of the European Union has the right to free travel and stay in the territory of each member state on the terms and conditions set by the E.U. law. This right is one of the basic ones and is much appreciated by people of Europe.

In accordance with Article 45 of the TFEU, free migration of employees means they must be treated in the same way as citizens of the home state, particularly in case of remuneration and other terms of employment. The right of free migration does also include emoployee's families.

Since the Republic of Croatia has been a member of European Union since 2013, Croatian citizens may stay in Poland with no obstacles or other problems.

Provisions of free movement empower employees to:
- seeking employment in another member state,
- undertaking employment in another member state with no necessity of getting work permit,
- live in another member state because of employment,
- stay in another member state after termination of employment contract if other E.U.
- laws are obeyed, be treated as a citizen of that member state in respect of employment
availability, work conditions as well as social and tax rights.

So, citizens of each E.U. member state may work in Poland with no work permit. They may be employed by Polish employers and be must be treated in the same way as Polish citizens are. Also, they may work in Poland as employees of business units registered in any other member country as well as in Norway, Luxembourg, Iceland and Switzerland as employees delegated to Poland by their companies.

However, it is important to know that citizens of E.U. member states and their family members who are not citizens of E.U. have the right to stay in Poland with no registration up to three months. E.U. citizens  must have valid travel documents or other documents certifying their identity and citizenship.  Each family member who is not E.U. citizen is required to have a travel document and a visa if it is necessary.

In case the stay in Poland is going to be longer than three months, E.U. citizen must register his/her stay in Poland; his/her family members who are not citizens of European Union should get a family member residence card (in Polish: Karta pobytu członka rodziny obywatela UE).

Of course, these requirements apply to citizens of the Republic of Croatia – both those who wish to get employment in Poland and those who want to establish and run business in Poland.

Those who wish to run business in Poland should have in mind that employers who give job to foreigners have the same duties as Polish employers:
- report the fact of employment to ZUS (Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych = National Insurance Office) and pay relevant premium each month;
- calculate, deduct and pay income tax to US (Urząd Skarbowy = Revenue Office);
- obey provisions of Labour Code (Kodeks Pracy) since no employee, regardless his/her citizenship, may be discriminated at work

In Poland, rights of employees are regulated by Labour Code which contains detailed rules, rights, duties and relationship between employer and his/her employees.

Special attention should be paid to:
1.  Collective agreement (Zbiorowy układ pracy) concluded by employers and trade unions particularly at large firms (some thousands workers) and of strategic sectors units (power,  transport, telecommunication, etc.)
2.  Work and Remuneration Rules (Regulamin pracy i wynagradzania); obligatory at firms employing not less than 20 people.
3.  Procedures of conclusion and termination of employment contracts.
4.  The lowest monthly salary/wages in the year 2016 is PLN 1850.00.
5.  The lowest hourly rate in case of other contracts and self-employment is PLN 12.00 gross (since 1st July 2016) and will be PLN 13.00 gross since 1st January 2017.
6.  Various forms of protection of employees (maternity leave for example).
7.  Various forms of protection of disabled employees (in case of both temporary and permanent disability).
8.  Protection of employees in case of bankruptcy of employer.

These matters may also be regulated by collective agreements made by one or more employers or associations of employers and by one or more trade unions.

In Poland, there are the following types of employment contracts:
1.  employment contract for a specified time (umowa o pracę na czas określony)
2.  employment contract for an unspecified time (umowa o pracę na czas nieokreślony)
3.  mandate/commission contract (umowa zlecenie)
4.  contract for performing specified task/work (umowa o dzieło)
5.  self-employment (samozatrudnienie)

Working hours and holidays
In Poland, the maximum working time is 8 hours/day and 40 hours in a week of 5 working days. When a working day means 6 or more hours of work, a minimum 15-minute break is obligatory (included in the working time).

In a week, working time with additional hours must not exceed 48 hours average in a period used for work time settlement.

In a day, no more then 12 hours of work are allowed; this however does not apply to  supervision of a machine or other technical device and to such a work system where an employee is ready for work (but not working) for a part of work time – this may reach 16 hours daily.

Employees are entitled to annual holiday of not less than 20 days - those who are employed for less than 10 years and of 26 days - those with more than 10-year work history.

 

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