Employment contract needed before starting work

Following the amendments to the Polish Labor Code effective on 1 September 2016, an employee may start work only if beforehand:

  • a written employment contract has been signed; or
  • if there is no signed, written employment contract, the employer has confirmed to the employee in writing the arrangements concerning the parties to the contract, and the type and the conditions of the contract.

Otherwise the employer cannot allow the employee to start work. This is a very important change which counteracts the non-contractual hiring of employees.

Failure to comply may bring financial consequences for the employer or persons acting on his behalf. In the event of an inspection by the National Labor Inspectorate, if the employer is unable to provide an employment contract or the aforementioned written confirmation, he may be subject to a fine of PLN 1,000 up to PLN 30,000 (approx. €230 up to €7,000).

Minimum hourly rate for individuals hired on civil law contracts as of 1 January 2017

Under amendments to the Act on minimum pay of 22 August 2016, as of 1 January 2017 a minimum hourly rate will be introduced for individuals engaged on civil law contracts including contracts of mandate or service contracts with the self-employed, (the “Contractors”). Current regulations do not provide for minimum pay for the Contractors.

The minimum hourly rate for the Contractors will depend on the annual statutory minimum salary for work for the employees regulated and applicable at given time. Although the minimum hourly rate for the Contractors in 2017 is as yet unknown, it is expected to be approx. PLN 13 gross (approx. €3). It is expected to be will be announced officially by 30 September 2016.

If a Contractor’s pay does not provide for an hourly rate, it has to be established in such a way that the pay per each hour of providing services is not lower than the statutory minimum hourly rate.

After 1 January 2017, the time of providing services will generally have to be registered (excluding inter alia agreements which include only a commission fee as remuneration). Time documentation will have to be stored by the service recipient for 3 years.

Paying Contractors at below the statutory minimum hourly rate may be subject to a penalty of PLN 1,000 up to PLN 30,000 (approx. €230 up to €7,000).

Posting employees to Poland

Further to our Legal Alert of 25 July 2016, we would like to kindly remind you that under the Act on Posting of Employees in the Framework of the Provision of Services (“Act”), if the employee was already posted to Poland on the day the Act came into force (18 June 2016), the employer posting employees to Poland should by 18 September 2016:

  • submit to the National Labor Inspectorate a declaration on relevant information necessary to allow factual controls at the workplace; and
  • start keeping (or at the National Labor Inspectorate’s request supply) copies of the abovementioned employment related documents.