Despite government efforts in recent years to ease heavy bureaucracy and improve the local business environment, navigating Polish HR and payroll requirements can still prove challenging.

The largest economy in Central and Eastern Europe, Poland is home to many multinational corporations that attract talent both locally and from abroad. But despite government efforts in recent years to ease heavy bureaucracy and improve the local business environment, navigating Polish HR and payroll requirements can still prove challenging, especially for companies that lack in-house HR and payroll expertise. Here is a summary.

Social security

Employers in Poland make monthly contributions to the Social Security Institution (ZUS). Employers with 25 or more employees must also pay a premium to the State Fund for the Disabled (PFRON).

Registration and de-registration forms should be submitted electronically to the social security authority within seven days of the start or end of an employment contract.

Social Insurance

Paid by Employer (% of gross income)

Paid by Employee (% of gross income)

Retirement

9.76%

9.76%

Disability

6.50%

1.50%

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%

13.71%

Visas and work permits

Under Poland’s Employment Promotion and Labour Market Institutions Act, an employer may hire a foreign employee from EU or non-EU countries after receiving a voivode’s (local regulator) 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 the foreign worker.
  • Non-EU or EEA citizens require a work permit as well as an appropriate visa.

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:

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

Type B: Issued to foreigners who work as a member of the Management Board of an entity in Poland, who remain in the country for a period exceeding six months within 12 consecutive months.

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

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 longer than 3 months in a six-month period.

Payroll and overtime

The minimum gross wage for full time work is PLN 2000 per month (as of 1 January 2017). Employees working overtime are entitled to additional pay over the normal salary of 100% of their salary for working at night time (9:00pm to 7:00am), Sundays, bank holidays and hours worked above the weekly average (50% on any other day).

Entitlements

Employees who have worked for less than 10 years are entitled to 20 days of paid vacation. Employees who have worked for at least 10 years are entitled to 26 days of paid vacation.

Employers are allowed to negotiate collective bargaining agreements.

Employees terminated for reasons unrelated to their employment are entitled to severance pay. The amount ranges from one month’s pay to three months’ pay depending on how long the employee has worked for the employer. This is applicable to companies with at least 20 employees.

Under fixed and indefinite term contracts, the termination notice period ranges from two weeks to three months, depending on how long the employee has worked for the employer.

HR legislation

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

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This article originally appeared in the October 2017 edition of GPA Magazine.