Blog 07.09.2020

Employing foreigners in Poland – how to draw up a contract?

Employing foreigners in Poland is already the norm. More and more people come to us to work and live here permanently, not just looking for fast seasonal income. Signing a contract with foreigners involves a number of formalities which should be completed in order for the employee to be employed completely legally. Both parties to the contract are checked thoroughly by officials, which ensures safety of both the employee and the employer. 

Legal residence and legal work for foreigners

Many entrepreneurs employ people from abroad. The basic document that an employee should have is a permit for residence in the Republic of Poland. If workers are not nationals of the European Economic Area, the European Union, the United Kingdom or Switzerland and are not legally exempt, they need to submit an application for a work permit, which provides very detailed information on the employer and the worker.

It indicates, among other things, the planned type of contract and the proposed remuneration and is usually binding. It is not possible to conclude a contract that is less favourable to the employee than described in the work permit, or with a lower salary. Officially, this would be illegal. Therefore, it is worth considering all legal and financial issues much earlier, as employing a foreigner on less favourable terms may result in a fine from PLN 3 to 5 thousand. Similarly, entrusting work in a different profession or position than that specified in the documents submitted with the application is subject to a fine.

Contract understandable to the foreigner

One of the most important matters is to draw up a proper contract of employment or another contract specified by the employer. It should be presented to the foreigner in a language they understand – not necessarily in their native language. The Labour Code does not require the contract to be signed in a language spoken by the employee. This issue is regulated by the Act on employment promotion and labour market institutions. It is important that the conditions for obtaining a work permit are included in the contract. Please remember that the contract is intended to protect the interests of both parties and contains all information about the type of work performed, the hours worked, the duties performed and the position held.

Work permit – coordination by employer

It is also important to remember that it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the employee is informed at every stage of the process of any action taken in connection with the required work permit, any decisions relating to it and the whole process. It is also the employer’s responsibility to ensure due care in that respect. It is the employer that becomes an intermediary between the employee and the authorities in that scope. It is also the employer’s responsibility to keep an eye on any deadlines, requests for subsequent extension of the worker’s stay and to keep the worker informed of any issues relating thereto

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