The performance of work by foreigners in Poland legally and in accordance with the law is very important both from the point of view of the foreign national and the entity entrusting him/her with the work.
For it to be possible to talk about a legal entrustment of work to a foreigner, a number of conditions must be fulfilled (resulting, among others, from the provisions of the Act of 20 Avril 2004 on employment promotion and labour market institutions, OJ 2008, No 69, item 415, as amended, and of the Act of 15 June 2012 on the effects of entrusting work to foreigners residing in the territory of the Republic of Poland in contravention to the legislation, OJ 2012, item 769), including the following ones:
- the foreigner must have a valid visa or other document entitling him/her to stay in the Republic of Poland (e.g. a residence permit for a fixed period which is confirmed by a residence card);
- the foreigner should have an appropriate basis for residence in Poland, i.e. one that entitles to work (or, to be more precise, doesn’t exclude it) – this can’t be, for example, a tourist visa;
- the entity entrusting work to a foreigner is obliged to obtain a work permit for such a person (document issued by the competent voivode), unless this authorisation isn’t required in the case of the foreign national concerned;
- the performance of work by a foreigner shall not take place under other conditions or in a position other than those specified in the work permit (except for the entrustment of work of a different nature or in a different post than those determined in the authorisation for periods not exceeding a total of 30 days in a calendar year, provided that this is immediately notified in writing to the voivode who issued the permit).
The employer (the entity entrusting other paid job), before engaging a foreigner, is obliged to require that the foreign national presents, prior to starting work, a valid document authorising him/her to stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland (in particular a visa or a residence card) and to keep the copy of this document: in the case of engaging under an employment contract – in the worker’s personal file, on the terms and for the period of mandatory storage of this file; in the event of concluding a civil law contract with a foreigner – for the entire period of work performed by the foreign national. In this way, the employer „protects” himself/herself against engaging undocumented persons, also in the event of an inspection made by the Border Guard or by the National Labour Inspectorate.
The non-respect of these obligations results in criminal liability. A foreigner who performs work against the law runs the risk of being punished with a fine of not less than PLN 1000 and being issued with a decision obliging him/her to return. An entity entrusting a foreigner with illegal work is exposed to misdemeanour liability with a fine of not less than PLN 3,000 for each illegally employed person, as well as to criminal liability.
That’s why this study aims to collect and explain all obligations related to the employment and settlement of Ukrainian citizens employed in Poland. This study constitutes an attempt at a general approach of matters related to the employment of Ukrainians, but it will not exhaust all circumstances that may occur in life. It’s always necessary to carefully and individually analyse all circumstances and nuances of employing a particular worker in certain conditions.
In the case of any questions and ambiguities, please contact our office or the author of the study, Ms Magdalena Grygorowicz.
We invite you to read the guide (text available in Polish) EMPLOYMENT OF UKRAINE CITIZENS IN POLAND 2018.