The employer who intends to employ a foreign national is required to take certain steps to legalize their right to work in Poland. It is the employer’s responsibility to apply to the relevant authorities for documents that will enable legal employment of a non-EU citizen.
A foreign national may work in Poland under three types of arrangements:
- a contract of employment,
- a civil law contract (including contract of mandate, agency contract or contract for specific work),
- serving on boards of directors of legal entities.
Entrusting work to citizens of Ukraine – the declaration procedure
One of the easiest ways to legalize employment of a foreign national in Poland is the so-called declaration procedure. Work in Poland under this simplified procedure is open to the citizens of: Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Armenia, and Ukraine. The maximum duration of work under a declaration has been extended to 24 months. The provision on the 12-month settlement period has been removed, so it is now possible to entrust work to a foreign national without interruption on the grounds of another declaration.
Foreign nationals cannot be employed on the basis of a declaration for seasonal work in certain economic sectors, including agriculture, hospitality, fisheries, hunting and forestry.
Declaration procedure for Ukrainian citizens – step by step
To prepare and submit a declaration on entrusting work to a citizen of Ukraine, the employer needs the following information:
- particulars of the entity entrusting work to a foreign national: (1) (business) name; (2) NIP, REGON (tax ID and statistical number); (3) address;
- particulars of the foreign national: (1) name; (2) date of birth; (3) nationality; (4) travel document – serial number, date of issue and date of expiry;
- information about the work entrusted to the foreign national: (1) position/type of work performed; (2) occupation name and code; (3) PKD (NACE) code; (4) place of work; (5) type of contract underlying the engagement; (6) hours of work; (7) gross pay; (8) duration of work.
The completed declaration must be accompanied by a set of documents:
- a valid identity card or another travel document confirming the identity of the foreign national;
- a copy of all completed pages of the valid identification or travel document;
- proof of payment of PLN 30 for entry into the register of declarations.
In order to register the declaration and the set of documents, the employer should appear in person at the relevant labour office (according to their registered office or place of permanent address). During the pandemic, the declaration and other documents are to be submitted in electronic form – via the government website www.praca.gov.pl.
On the aforementioned site, there are two forms to choose from: PSZ-OPWP and PSZ-OPWPA. The latter form applies to entities operating as a temporary employment agency. The employer should:
- select the relevant labour office from the drop-down menu,
- complete the appropriate form,
- attach previously scanned documents,
- sign with a qualified electronic signature or trusted profile,
- send documents.
The registered declaration will then be sent electronically to the email address indicated in the declaration.
Within 7 days after submitting the declaration on entrusting work to a foreign national, the Poviat Labour Office (PUP) is obliged to enter the declaration in the register or to notify the employer about the refusal to enter the declaration. The procedure may be extended up to 30 days if an investigation is necessary.
For an entry to be made, three cumulative conditions must be met:
- the foreign national must be a citizen of a state specified in the regulation on individual inclusions or occupations,
- the foreign national must not be engaged to perform seasonal work,
- the foreign national’s remuneration must not be lower than that of employees who perform work in a similar position or a similar type of work.
If the labour office refuses to enter the declaration in the register, the employer has the right to appeal. The appeal should be submitted to the minister competent for labour matters via the starost – no later than within 14 days from the date of receiving the refusal. The letter of appeal does not need to provide specific grounds.
The employer whose declaration is successfully registered is obliged to notify the Poviat Labour Office – within 7 days – about the foreign national taking up employment. If it turns out that the foreign national does not appear for work on the appointed day or does not sign the contract, the employer is likewise obliged to notify this fact to the labour office – within 7 days from the commencement date of work specified in the declaration.
Information is to be provided to the Poviat Labour Office via the same channel as in the case of registration of the declaration – at www.praca.gov.pl using the form PSZ-PPPO.
If, in the course of employment, there is a change in the terms of employment specified in the declaration, the employer should apply for a new declaration. It is not necessary to do so in the following situations:
- change of the registered office or place of residence, name or legal form of the employing entity;
- transfer of the establishment, or part thereof, to another employer;
- execution of an employment contract to replace a civil law contract.