Decrypting Poland’s labour environment
Article 3 minute read

Decrypting Poland’s labour environment

20 October 2016

Poland offers big opportunities for global investors and those looking to smart-source operations, but navigating local legislative requirements can be demanding.

Here’s a rundown of HR and payroll requirements in Poland.

Social Security

  • Social security contributions are made each month to the Social Security Institution (ZUS). The employer must also pay a premium to the State Fund for the Disabled (PFRON). (Percentages of gross income are listed below).
    • The obligation to make payments to the PFRON concerns companies employing at least 25 people.
  • Registration and de-registration forms should be submitted electronically to the social security authorities within seven days from the beginning/termination of an employment contract.
Social Insurance Paid by Employer (% of gross income) Paid by Employee (% of gross income)
Disability 6.50%
Accident 0.40% - 3.60%
Sickness - 2.45%
Labour Fund 2.45%
Health - 9%
Guaranteed Employee Benefit Fund 0.10%
Total 19.21% - 22.41%


  • Under the Polish Labour Code, an employment contract should be prepared in writing and must specify the type of contract, date of conclusion, terms of employment and remuneration, type of work, place of work, working time and start date.
  • Employers are also allowed to negotiate collective bargaining agreements.
  • Employees terminated for reasons not related to the employees are entitled to severance pay. The amount ranges from one month’s pay to three month’s pay depending on for how long the employee has worked for the employer. - This is applicable to companies employing at least 20 employees.
  • Termination notice period: Under fixed and indefinite term contracts, the notice period ranges from two weeks to three months, depending on how long the employee has worked for the employer.

Foreign Personnel

  • The law on Promotion of Employment and Labour Market Institutions states that an employer may hire a foreign employee from EU or non-EU countries, after receiving a voivode’s permit for employment.
  • Foreign employee categories: Citizens of EU countries or of the European Economic Area (EEA) are entitled to work in Poland without a work permit. For these citizens there is no requirement for employers to seek out local, Polish employees, prior to employing a foreign worker. Non-EU or EEA citizens require a work permit as well as an appropriate visa.

Work Permits

Work permits are issued by the Department of Civil Affairs and Immigration and are for a maximum period of three years. There are five types of work permits issued:

Type A: Issued to employees who perform work in Poland on the basis of an employment contract.

Type B: Issued to foreigners to work as a member of the Management Board of an entity, for a maximum period of six months.

Type C: Issued to employees who work for a branch office or plant of a foreign company in Poland, for more than 30 days.

Type D: For employees sent to Poland for temporary or ad-hoc work for a foreign company that does not have a branch office, plant or business activities in Poland.

Type E: Issued to foreign employees sent to Poland to work for a foreign employer, for a period between 3-6 months.


  • Employees who have worked for less than 10 years are entitled to 20 days’ paid vacation.
  • Employees who have worked for at least 10 years are entitled to 26 days' paid vacation.
  • The minimum gross wage for full time work is PLN 1,850 per month as of 1 January 2016.
  • Employees working overtime are entitled to additional pay over the normal salary of: 100% of salary for working during the evening (9:00 pm to 7:00 am), Sundays, bank holidays and hours worked above the weekly average (50% on any other day).

HR legislation

The Polish Labour Code is the key legal act regulating relations between employers and employees. Other major acts include:

  • The Trade Union Act (May 1991)
  • The Act on Informing and Consulting Employees (May 2009)
  • The European Works Council Act (April 2002)
  • Act on the Minimum Wage for Work (October 2002).

Talk to us

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