A draft act with significant implications for employers of short term and seasonal workers in Poland has been adopted by the Polish Parliament (“the Act”). The Act:
- provides new rules for employing non-EU/EEA citizens for seasonal and short-term work in Poland, bringing into force the EU Seasonal Workers Directive (see Resources below for details);
- aims to tighten rules regarding short-term work provided by citizens of 6 countries - Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
How does this affect businesses in Poland who employ non-Polish workers?
The Act includes the following proposals:
- A register of foreign workers performing work in Poland will be introduced. This will be stored in an electronic database from 1 January 2018 and includes: work permits, seasonal work permits and declarations of intention to employ a foreigner. The register will allow public administrations to access and exchange data relating to such short term work provided by foreign citizens.
- Any work conducted in the period when the foreign national is waiting for their work permit to be issued or extended will be legal (provided certain requirements are met);
- New grounds for refusing and revoking work permits;
- Minimum remuneration requirements: A new obligation on the employer to ensure the foreign national is paid at least a minimum level of remuneration for their work in order to obtain a work permit;
- New rules for partnerships and commercial proxies: Foreign workers may obtain a temporary residence permit for the purposes of conducting a business activity where the purpose of the worker’s stay is to conduct a partnership's affairs as a general partner in a Limited Partnership and Limited Joint-Stock Partnership or acting as a commercial proxy;
- New rules for concluding agreements with foreign nationals: When concluding an agreement with a foreign national exempt from obtaining a work permit, the employer must do this in writing, with a copy of the agreement translated into the native language of the worker;
- New rules regarding work based on a “declaration of entrusting work to a foreigner”: Citizens of countries specified in separate regulations and other foreigners engaged in certain professions will be able to perform work based on a “declaration of entrusting work to a foreigner” in case of non-seasonal work. They will be able to work in Poland for 6 months over a period of 12 consecutive months without having to obtain a work permit.
How does this affect employers in Poland who engage workers from Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine?
- The Act introduces an obligation to obtain a new seasonal work permit for citizens of these countries performing seasonal work (expected to be in force from 1 January 2018 if the Act is adopted by Senate and signed by the President).
- Currently citizens from those countries may perform work in Poland for 6 months over a period of 12 consecutive months without having to obtain a work permit, provided the employer files a “declaration of intention to employ a foreigner”. A transition period would apply until the end of 2018 regarding employment under any declarations registered prior to this date.
Further information (if needed)
Seasonal Workers Directive: Directive 2014/36/EU of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe of 26 February 2014 on the conditions of entry and stay of third-country nationals (individuals from a country that is not a member of the Union)
The link below (Polish language only) allows you to track the legislative process of the Act: