Labour law reform in Poland: changes on the horizon for employers of seasonal and short-term staff

Posted on 7th January, 2017

Estimated reading time 4 minutes

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)

For further information or to discuss any of the issues raised, please contact Roch Pałubicki ( on +48 61 856 0414.


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: