Looking to expand your business operations to Poland? The legal aspect of hiring in Poland is complex and multifaceted. Whether it’s understanding the intricacies of employment contracts, work permits, social security contributions, or labour laws, international businesses must be well-prepared to navigate these areas.

A complete guide to ensure your hiring process in Poland is legally compliant.

Employment Contracts in Poland

In Poland, an employment contract is more than just a mere formality; it’s a legally binding document that sets the groundwork for the professional relationship between employer and employee. Let’s dive into the vital elements that you must know.

1. Types of Employment Contracts in Poland

  • Fixed-term Contracts: Suitable for temporary projects or seasonal work, these contracts have a predetermined end date.
  • Indefinite-term Contracts: These are open-ended agreements ideal for permanent positions.
  • Probationary Contracts: Typically used to assess a new employee’s suitability for the role, ranging from one to three months.

2. Key Components of an Employment Contract

Every employment contract in Poland must outline specific details, including:

  • Working Hours: Clearly define whether the position is full-time or part-time, including any expectations for overtime.
  • Salary Details: Include not just the base salary but also any bonuses, commissions, or other compensation components.
  • Job Description: Clearly outline the employee’s role, responsibilities, and performance expectations.
  • Terms and Conditions: Include any specific company policies, rules, and regulations that apply.

3. Legal Regulations

The Polish Labor Code governs employment contracts, setting minimum standards for working conditions, wages, and other employment rights. Complying with these legal requirements ensures a fair and lawful employment relationship.

Key Provisions of the Polish Labor Code:

Working Conditions: Defines the basic conditions such as working hours, rest periods, overtime, and work on public holidays.

Wages and Benefits: Sets the minimum wage, payment methods, and ensures timely wage payments.

Health and Safety: Details the obligations of employers to provide a safe working environment, including proper training and equipment.

Maternity and Parental Leave: Outlines the rights of employees concerning maternity, paternity, and parental leaves https://wearesimplytalented.com/changes-in-labour-law-and-social-security/.

Termination of Employment: Regulates the lawful termination of employment contracts, including notice periods and severance pay.

Discrimination and Harassment: Prohibits discrimination based on gender, age, disability, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

Trade Union Activities: Protects the rights of employees to organise and join trade unions.

Teleworking:  Refers to the routine completion of work tasks from a location other than the traditional workplace, utilising electronic communication methods. In this arrangement, the employee communicates the outcomes of their work to the employer, particularly through the aforementioned digital channels.

“The employer is obliged to: provide the teleworker with the equipment necessary to perform work in the form of telework, insure the equipment, cover the costs related to the installation, service, operation and maintenance of the equipment, provide teleworker with technical assistance and the necessary training in the use of equipment – unless the employer and the teleworker decide otherwise, in a separate agreement. 

The employer and the teleworker may, in a separate agreement, specify in particular: the scope of insurance and the rules for the use by the teleworker of the equipment necessary to perform work in the form of telework, which is the property of the teleworker, rules of communication between the employer and the teleworker, including the method of confirming the presence of the teleworker at the workplace, the manner and form of controlling the performance of work by teleworker”.

Ministry of Family and Social Policy Republic of Poland.

4. Social Benefits and Tax Obligations

It’s essential to understand the social security contributions and tax obligations associated with employment contracts. These details may include pension and health insurance contributions, as well as withholding tax.

5. Social Security Contributions

In Poland, both employers and employees are subject to mandatory social security contributions. These are allocated to various funds, including:

Pension Insurance: Contributions to the retirement fund ensure future financial stability for employees.

Health Insurance: This portion goes towards the healthcare system, providing employees with access to medical services.

Disability Insurance: Aims to provide support for employees who become unable to work due to disability.

Accident and Sickness Insurance: Offers protection and support in the event of work-related accidents or illness.

6. Tax Obligations

Alongside social security contributions, employers must also manage tax-related responsibilities, such as:

Withholding Tax: Employers are obliged to withhold Personal Income Tax (PIT) from employees’ salaries and remit it to the tax authorities. The rate of withholding tax depends on various factors, including the employee’s income level and tax status.

Corporate Taxes: Businesses operating in Poland must adhere to corporate tax regulations, which may include Value Added Tax (VAT) and Corporate Income Tax (CIT).

7. Compliance and Reporting

Ensuring compliance with social security and tax obligations involves meticulous record-keeping and regular reporting to the relevant Polish authorities. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in legal penalties and reputational damage.

8. Termination Clauses

Polish law stipulates specific rules regarding the termination of employment contracts. Understanding these rules and outlining clear termination procedures in the contract can prevent legal issues down the line.

Creating an employment contract in Poland that complies with all legal requirements is a critical step in the hiring process. Whether it’s a fixed-term or indefinite-term agreement, understanding the essential elements like working hours, salary, and other working conditions is fundamental.

For businesses new to the Polish market, consulting with a local legal expert specializing in labor law is highly recommended. A well-drafted employment contract not only safeguards both the employer’s and employee’s rights but also sets the foundation for a successful working relationship.

Registration of Employees in Poland: A Crucial Step for Employers

Hiring new employees in Poland involves more than just signing a contract and integrating them into the team. One of the fundamental legal obligations that employers must fulfil is the registration of new hires with the relevant social security office (ZUS) and tax office. 

What is Employee Registration?

Employee registration in Poland refers to the formal process of reporting new hires to both the social security office (Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych, or ZUS) and the local tax office. This procedure ensures that the necessary contributions for social security, healthcare, and taxes are accurately calculated and paid.

Why is Employee Registration Important?

The prompt registration of employees serves several essential purposes:

  • Compliance with Legal Obligations: Polish law mandates the reporting of new hires to the relevant authorities, failure to do so may result in fines or other penalties.
  • Social Security Coverage: Registration ensures that employees are appropriately enrolled in the social security system, providing access to benefits like healthcare and retirement pensions.
  • Tax Reporting: Proper registration aligns with the tax obligations, making sure the right deductions are made from the employee’s salary.

The Registration Process

Here’s a step-by-step guide to the employee registration process in Poland:

  • Collect Necessary Information: Obtain all relevant details from the employee, including personal identification, contact information, and bank account details.
  • Submit to ZUS: Employers must complete specific forms and submit them to the Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych (ZUS) or Social Security Office. This should be done promptly, usually within a week of the employee’s start date.
  • Inform the Tax Office: Notify the local tax office of the new hire, ensuring alignment with tax obligations.
  • Maintain Accurate Records: Keep detailed and up-to-date records of all registered employees for potential audits or inspections.

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